‘Make-it-Yours’ keeps Royal Enfield on the go
Royal Enfield’s Make-it-Yours (MiY) software platform has helped generate between 80% and 90% of demand for all its products, said CEO Vinod Dasari.
“A buyer can use the MiY platform to choose, for example, from among 5,00,000 permutations and combinations, to order the Meteor model. So much so that, you can design your own motorcycle and we would put your name on it and ship it out to you,” he added.
Normally, that promise would have been kept within 48 hours of such a booking, but unanticipated demand for the Meteor — introduced earlier this month — has meant customers go through a waiting period.
Mr. Dasari, who joined the motorcycle maker from Ashok Leyland in April 2019, has committed to introducing one new model every quarter over the next five years.
Highlighting the three-pronged approach the company is using to pursue growth, he said Royal Enfield would significantly ‘enhance its products’ and offer a range to meet different aspirations of customers within the mid-segment market, pursue growth outside of India, and focus on the aftermarket business.
“Over the next few years, we plan to offer new variants, models and even new platforms on which new bikes would be built,” he said. “Second, our network growth has been faster outside India; we built a plant in Argentina, we are building one in Thailand. Third, there is huge opportunity in accessories, spare parts, and after-sales service that we are tapping,” the CEO added.
Local lockdowns driven by the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted the company’s supply chain. Mr. Dasari said, “Our supply problems have been outside of our own factories, especially in the Pune-Aurangabad belt.” In the long run, we have to look at alternatives nearby.” To a query, he said less than 5% of Royal Enfield’s supplies came from China. He pointed out that the company’s Studio Store concept, introduced 18 months ago, had found favour with its rural clientele.
“During the pandemic, demand pull-up from tier 3 towns was faster than from tier 2,” Mr. Dasari said.
“Our Studio Store takes one-tenth the cost and space needed for our usual store format, but comes with the same retail identity as existing dealerships and with the entire portfolio of motorcycles, in addition to service and spares,” he added.The company had originally aimed for 200 such compact-format stores but has seen the count touch 800 now. “Even amid the pandemic, we added 133 in the second quarter ended September.”
In October, the company saw a 7% decline in total sales from a year earlier to 66,891 units. Of these, exports accounted for 4,033 units. In September, the motorcycle maker had shown marginal year-on-year growth of 1% in total sales. Year-to-date sales contracted 35% in the April-October period, compared with a 41% shrinkage in April-September this year.