Manchester-based Indian-owned Hero Cycles is announcing ambitious plans to unleash an export drive, in partnership with Cheshire ecommerce giant The Hut Group, for its new bike brand – Insync.
Hero, the world’s biggest bike maker by volume, launched the new Insync range of 75 bikes for the UK market in May 2018 at Old Trafford football ground (see notes to editors) and is now ready to launch the brand formerly overseas via its website www.insyncbikes.com
Sreeram Venkateswaran CEO of Hero’s UK subsidiary Avocet Sports said the new export drive aims to catapult the Insync brand and Hero Cycles into wider European markets.
“This is one of Hero Cycles boldest ever moves, to grow its international footprint into Europe,” he said. “Together with The Hut Group we have developed the Insync website to be specially optimised to operate across Europe which represents a new and potent market for Hero Cycles. This move shows Hero Cycles’ ambition to totally transform a UK company in Avocet, into a pan-European operation. It has taken a lot of careful planning to arrive at this point. Having invested in our Manchester Global Design Centre and recruited a team of top bike designers, we now have a range of high-quality bikes offering great value to customers in UK and Europe. Plus, we have The Hut Group’s formidable digital know-how to sell and promote the bikes into Europe online.”
Mr Venkateswaran said Hero Cycles’ investment in the UK is a strong example of how Indian and UK companies can join forces sharing expertise and resources.
“India and Britain share a common heritage, culture and language,” he said. “That bond makes doing business so much easier. Our venture in Britain is very much in line with what the UK Government wants to see post-Brexit, more UK and Indian companies working together targeting international trade. In terms of India, our model fits with Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, as the know-how, design and marketing have come from the UK but the actual manufacturing will take place in India. In addition, all the bikes bought via the Insync website will be distributed worldwide from UK warehouses, to start with, operated by Hero and The Hut Group before eventually moving to warehouses closer to the core markets.”
Mr Venkateswaran added that Hero Cycles is kick-starting a large investment in a new ‘bicycle valley’ in the Indian state of Punjab. The valley is designed to offer customers greater efficiency and flexibility by bringing its manufacturing centre and supply chain together. He said the operation is already working well with around 90 per cent of bikes sold by Hero Cycles in the UK being sourced from its Indian factories.
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Insync range has four sub-brands Viking, Riddick, DeNovo and Ryedale and is the culmination of four years of work following Hero’s purchase of Manchester, UK based bike distribution house Avocet Sports in 2015. The deal saw Hero invest £2million in a new ‘Global Design Centre’ in Manchester, which opened in 2017. The centre is charged with designing bikes for developed country markets.
1) The four Insync sub brands
Target market: Outdoors bike. Viking Pro Range model includes city, touring and road bikes.
One of the most competitive bikes at the price range. Full Shimano group set, lighter, tighter rear triangle enabling better power transfer, stiffer and more responsive better for cornering and generally a more lively performance. Return of classic logo with minimal retro graphics for better urban look.
Target market: Action and adventure bike range for cyclists of all ages.
Lighter due to new butted tubes and hollow bb cartridge, more robust and more precise handling. Very competitive high quality components for price range including RockShox forks, WTB rims and Selle Royal seat.
Price: £250 – £1200
Target market: Lifestyle bike range for women, fashionable and healthy.
Appearance now more contemporary and modern with greater attention to detail. Colour range more co-ordinated and on-trend, basket trim redesigned and basket can now clip off. Bikes are lighter switching from steel to alloy frame, ride generally easier and requires low maintenance.
Insync Denovo film
Target market: Mid-premium Childrens’ bike range ages five – 12 years.
Better designed and more sophisticated and stylish with on trend graphics and colours. Range now mid premium rather than mass market. Bikes frame lighter switched from steel to alloy 6061. Design team consulted with paediatric physiotherapist to improve weight and reach dynamics of bike. Safety paramount, easier for learning to ride. Competitively priced.
2) Hero Cycles Limited
Hero Cycles Limited was founded in India in 1956. It is the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world by volume producing 19,000 cycles per day and 5.2million per year. This represents one out of every 20 of the world’s bicycles. Hero Cycles has manufacturing units in Ludhiana (Punjab), Bihta (Bihar) & Ghaziabad (UP). It is part of the Hero Motors Company which has revenues of $400million and $1.2billion in assets employing circa 8,000 staff.
The company exports to more than 70 countries through a network of circa 250 suppliers and 2800 dealerships. Its bike range includes road bikes, hybrid bikes, children’s bikes, electric-bikes, mountain bikes, BMX and roadster models. Hero in India also manufactures automobile components like chassis for cars, safety components and transmission for motorcycles.
In August 2015, it acquired British brand Avocet Sports with 51pc stake targeting high-end bicycle market in Europe and now has full ownership. In 2015, it also acquired Firefox Bikes – India’s largest premium bicycle brand with an established presence Pan-India through a network of 160 outlets. In 2016, it acquired a majority stake in Sri Lanka’s leading bicycle manufacturer BSH Ventures, further boosting its manufacturing capacity. As part of major expansion plans across Europe it launched the £2million Hero Cycles Global Design Centre (HGD) in Manchester, UK, in January 2017. The design hub is led by creative minds from across the world including innovators from India, Taiwan and Denmark.
Hero Cycles is ISO9001 & ISO14001 Certified from BVC of UK and recognized by the R&D department by the Govt. of India.