Motoroyale recently announced that they’ve tied up with five international brands. The motorcycles from these brands will be sold and serviced in India by Motoroyale. All of these are premium brands and we caught up with Ajinkya Firodia (AF), the MD of Motoroyale and asked him how he manages all this. Here is what he had to say
1) Five brand tie-ups. That’s a lot, isn’t it? Perhaps Motoroyale may have taken more than it could handle?
AF: We have been working on this for the past three years – to get our production, homologation, dealer network and inventory all in place – for these five brands together at Motoroyale. It is the only way we can claim to be a truly exotic house of super bikes with a complete range of motorcycles from 250cc to 1000cc at all price points; and all international. I am looking forward to this excitement!
2) Will all the brands be overseen by Motoroyale or will they have separate brand heads?
AF: All brands come under the Motoroyale umbrella but have their own brand values – for e.g. the FB Mondial stands for the stylish Italian smaller capacity segment while the Nortons and MV Agustas are the top end exotic motorcycles. So Motoroyale shall do justice to every brand’s values in order to cater to all segments of superbikers; and their unique tastes and needs.
3) Anything coming up in the below Rs 1 lakh segment? That is where all the action usually is.
AF: No, we are into premium products only and have no such plans. We believe in offering different and exotic products for our customers ; and any low cost product we may consider shall also have to have such values to fit into Motoroyale – and we haven’t found anything like that yet.
4) Any India-specific products being made by any of the brands? Will exports be also part of the deal?
AF: We believe that currently all our international products shall have an appeal in India. It is a myth that we Indians need India-specific products and not international offerings available worldwide. We are the world’s biggest two wheeler market, and respect needs to be given to our understanding of two wheelers. Yes, we will be exporting these products in territories that come under our agreement, some of which have countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and others.
5) How many showrooms per brand do you intend to have within a year? Will there be service centres per showroom as well?
AF: All brands will be housed under a common showroom called Motoroyale – which is a multi brand super bikes heaven. These showrooms also have a workshop with trained manpower for service and spares. We are setting up such showrooms in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Banglore, Chennai, Kochi and Delhi. We are also looking to expand in Pune, Ahmedabad, Surat, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Indore, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Jaipur and other such markets shortly.
6) Hyosung floundered in between or let’s say twice now in India. One was with Garware and second with DSK. How do you plan on reinstalling faith in this Korean brand?
AF: Hyosung is the country’s first super bike brand – introduced in 2003 by Kinetic. It has a total of 7000 customers already and unique good quality products including cruisers and sports bikes in 250 and 650 cc range with a V twin engine. Like all Korean brands, their quality is excellent and comparable to any other country. We will focus on providing good service to our existing customers and launching attractive products in the cruiser segments.
7) Are just tier 1 cities on your radar or there are plans to expand in to tier 2 and 3 cities as well?
AF: The market for super bikes is primarily in the tier 1 cities, but there is a huge and growing demand in tier 2 cities. We are happy to consider cities such as Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Coimbatore, and certain such important markets to offer and cultivate the market here.
8) Finally, where does the funding for all this expansion come from?
AF: So far we as promoters have funded the project, which includes building a production line, homologation of all these models, and our manpower and inventory. As we go ahead into our growth plans, we are considering raising private equity to the tune of 75 – 100 crores and are talking to some funders accordingly.