Manchester headquartered Insync Bikes has been named one of the fastest-growing Indian-owned companies in the UK after seeing the growth of 43pc in the last year.
Insync Bikes is owned by India’s Hero Cycles, the world’s biggest pedal bike manufacturer, and the company has just accepted a Tracker Award in London after appearing in Grant Thornton’s annual India meets Britain tracker report produced with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
The tracker report was formerly launched in the capital and tracks Indian owned companies with a turnover of more than £5 million and year-on-year revenue growth of at least 10 per cent and a minimum two-year track record in the UK. Out of 37 Indian owned companies meeting the criteria the report named Insync as the seventh fastest growing in Britain.
Lord Gerry Grimstone Minister for Investment in the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) presented the Tracker Award to Gopal Krishan, Insync’s Head of Business at the event.
Insync Bikes Executive Director Raman Awasthi said Insync sold more than 50,000 bikes in retail in the year to November 2020, a 200 per cent increase on the previous year. It sold a further 186,000 bikes in 2021.
Raman said sales are being driven by surge in the demand for bikes as a healthier form of commuting and exercise. The lockdown in 2020 saw cycling increase by as much as 300pc according to Cycling Industry News with interest also being encouraged by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s investment of £2bn in a cycling and walking strategy. In another boost to Insync, when Mr Johnson announced the strategy, he rode one of Insync’s Viking bikes at a press call.
Raman said women’s hybrid and mountain bikes and children’s bikes, in the affordable range of £350-£500 experienced unprecedented levels of demand in 2020/21, and the business is now looking to expand its offering.
He said: “We are honoured to receive this prestigious award. Hero Cycles is committed to investments in the UK and to helping establish a deeper, more mutually beneficial relationship between the UK and India. Insync Bikes is a shining example of that. I’m sure with the truly global talent resource we have in our organisation we will further write this story. We thank Grant Thornton and CII for recognising our growth in this report. Insync Bikes now has around 10pc of the UK bike market and we plan to double that to around 20pc in the next two years with a focus on a premium range of bikes and a new range of e-bikes, launched as part of our new partnership with the German e-bike manufacturer HNF GmbH, which is also a Hero International company and will bring German precision research and development to the UK.”
Raman said sales from independent bike dealers (IBDs) have contributed significantly to the growth, with the business looking to increase its network of shops from 300 in 2019 to 700 by 2022.
Raman said Insync is planning major shipments of bikes including ebikes, road bikes, kids bikes and womens bikes throughout 2022. He added that the recruitment of IBDs as a volume driver has been supported, in part, by the company’s ability to quickly scale up manufacturing due to its manufacturing capability in India and Sri Lanka.
In April Insync announced plans to add a new e-cycle assembly line within its manufacturing facility in Manchester which will produce high-end, IoT enabled electric cycles and push bikes for customers in the UK and EU. The new assembly line forms part of a £150m group wide investment and is expected to be operational by August 2022 and produce 50,000 bikes over three years and scale up to a capacity of 30,000 bikes annually.
The Grant Thornton report further found the number of Indian owned companies operating in the UK has risen from 850 to 900 in the last year.
“India is a very special place, and its growth has been nothing short of remarkable,” said Lord Gerry Grimstone, Minister for Investment in the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT). “This growing, confident, outward looking India has benefited the world and certainly benefited the UK. Our relationship is defined by our peoples, our mutual investment and mutual trade. In the last five years, Indian investment into the UK has more than quadrupled and we calculate that it supports almost half a million jobs on our shores,” he said, pointing to the ongoing India-UK free trade agreement (FTA) negotiation as the “biggest deal yet to come”
The fastest growth among these was registered by MSSL (GB) Ltd, part of the Motherson Sumi group, which bagged the Tracker Award of the year for its 248 per cent growth. The other companies to bag the awards for their fast growth included tech firm Prodapt (UK) Ltd, which grew 114 per cent, and Route Mobile (UK) Ltd with 98 per cent.
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 5.2 million 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 the 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. In November 2019 the company changed its name from Avocet Sports Ltd to Insync Bikes Ltd.
Hero Cycles is ISO9001 & ISO14001 Certified by BVC of UK and recognized by the R&D department by the Govt. of India.