As more and more people move towards a healthy lifestyle and choose to buy cycles, Scott Sports sees a paradigm shift in the Indian market and wants to cater to this powerful customer base.
When we think of spending more than Rs 1 lakh on any mode of transport, it is almost always on a combustion engine motorbike or scooter. Nowadays, people also have the option of opting for an environmentally friendly electric vehicle. However, there is another option to consider – a bicycle. Yes, this two-wheeler has been around for hundreds of years and has always been tree-friendly. With advancement in technology and an emphasis on personal fitness, there are plenty of high-end options to choose from. Scott Sports is one of the leading names when it comes to high end cycles in India. We speak with Jaymin Shah, Managing Director of Scott Sports India to understand how customers have reacted to their products and if they have encountered any challenges.
Q) Many customers in India are still worried about spending big bucks on bikes. How do you justify that a bicycle costs as much as a motorbike?
A carbon bike starts at Rs 1.75 lakh and goes up to Rs 8.50 lakh. The bike is designed to weigh less than 8kg, carrying 100kg riders at speeds in excess of 35km/h. It is a technological innovation that is the future of solo mobility around the world. Ten years ago, Indian consumers feared spending Rs 25,000 on a bicycle, but that is no longer the case. The end consumer is smart and knows very well what he is paying for and the quality he expects from high-end products, including high-end bicycles.
Q) Do you have community development programs and are you planning to start/add such activities?
We have various community development programs like SCOTT Weekend. This program includes activities such as SCOTT Smart Bike Fit, Bike Service, Test Ride, Breakfast Ride and Tech Talks with riders. These programs are designed to engage riders in a meaningful way and make cycling more fun and enjoyable for them. We also organize the Bergamont 25 km, 75 km and 100 km challenges which take place in different regions of the country in collaboration with our network of dealers. These help cyclists challenge themselves to cover more distances in a progressive manner with the added thrill of competing against other cyclists.
Q) There has been a push for electric vehicles and we are seeing more and more moves in that direction. How does Scott Sports plan to be part of this movement? Will we see more e-bikes with pedal assists?
The world is moving towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly ways of living and coexisting with nature. We intend to carry this message and amplify the benefits associated with electric mobility to all potential customers in all major markets that we have. We have organized demonstration rides in the majority of our dealer networks for all customers who wish to dive into the world of personal mobility powered by e-bikes. In India, Scott is one of the few bicycle brands to have launched a range of e-bikes as early as 2018. We currently sell nearly 300 e-bikes per year and believe this number can easily be increased up to 3,000 bikes per year. year. the following 24 to 36 months.
Q) What have been the key demographics of your customers so far? Do you see more responses from a specific state or part of India?
Scott Sports brands are all premium brands and are popular among the 25-65 age group. We have a 75-25 split between male and female owners. Our target audiences are highly educated, well-travelled, and hail from most major cities across the country. However, we are seeing an increase in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities across the country that have taken up cycling with serious intent.
Q) Does the tire import ban affect your business? If so, how are you meeting this challenge and do you have any plans to address the issue more effectively in the future?
The quality of locally produced tires must improve to meet the needs of high-end bicycle consumers. Riders are forced to import tires themselves or continue to source from all parts of the country depending on stock availability. This has resulted in this market becoming a seller’s market, making it unfair to consumers at all levels. As a company, we work with a few international brands to make their product available in the country while respecting the law of the country.
Q) You recently introduced more economical mountain bikes for children in India. Do you think having more budget options in a price conscious market like India will be the key to attracting more customers?
India is a price sensitive market and the market demands exceptional value for money products. Having a range of products at a more accessible price will allow us to discover new audiences. Additionally, our customers’ driving journeys begin at a young age and it will be crucial for us to be part of that journey as early as possible in the consumer’s life. Eventually they move on to more serious riding and demand higher level gear as they begin to enjoy the cycling experience.