Riding gear category is under-served: Samrat Som

In an exclusive conversation with Samrat Som,Head " Royal Enfield Apparel & Accessories Business, Eicher Motors Limited shed light on growing riding gear category.
Riding gear category is under-served: Samrat Som

Royal Enfield has been India’s most-loved motorcycle brand for years. After manufacturing classics for passionate riders, Royal Enfield has gone a step further to offer a wide range of gear which is purposely built for riding and can also be worn leisurely.

Royal Enfield is an iconic motor cycle brand. So, what is the rationale behind foraying apparel category?

Royal Enfield is a motor cycling brand rather being just motor cycle entity. We have the huge segment of consumers who love the various aspect of motor cycling which includes not only owing and riding but overall experience of riding. With our apparel range we aim to felicitate such consumers and allow them to explore all the possible ways of expressing themselves. For that point of view, gear and apparel is very important for us. It allows brand ‘Royal Enfield’ to be present at locations where our dealership don’t exist. Also, it helps us to reach out to aspiring motorcyclists.

What would be your TG for apparel line? Also, how brand offerings are different from regular active wear brands?

Anyone who is interested in our kind of motor cycling which is leisure motor cycling is our potential customer. In fact, we are the pioneers of leisure motor cycling in this country. Motorcyclists have different sort of needs the way they express themselves. We have a very unique positioning in that sense. Our apparel range includes mix of casual and formals targeting all kind of riders including long distance, short distance and leisure biking. Having said that I would also like to inform we also have every day wear clothing line to enhance the motor cycling experience.

As of now how many categories you have explored. Also, shed light on your biggest category?

Presently, the brand is operating only in the men’s wear category. As of now, we have introduced the ten categories of products including helmet to jacket, trousers, denims, etc. Our biggest category is helmets. Riding gears is yet another interesting category for us and we would be strategizing to extend this category by launching relevant products. Our focus is to make everyday bike riding more stylish; hence, we will keep on creating more products which are as per Indian conditions. We are also working towards luggage category; though we already have bags in our portfolio. The whole riding gear category is under served so there is an ample scope of new inclusions.

What kind of response the brand has generated in other international markets as far as apparel range is concerned? Also, do you see any competition within Indian market?

The clothing line is operational in about 40 countries. We might have some competition in developed market, but in developing market we are among pioneers catering this niche market. In India, we are growing exponentially, to give you a sense; we would be retailing two hundred forty thousand helmets by the end of this year. We are neither into fashion lifestyle category or sports active wear category; hence, there is hardly any competition for us. There are very few players as far as leisure motor cycling category is concerned.

Shed light on your design and manufacturing teams.

Designs happen here in India. We closely work with group of riders who ride in different conditions to understand what actually their requirements are, in terms of performance. We have the development centre in UK, we work with them to know about new models and creating a clothing line around it. However, material sourcing happens from all around the world. We collaborate with brands which have expertise certain segments and try to bring products suitable for market.

What is your starting and exiting price point? Also highlight your average bill size?

Our starting price point is Rs 1000 for T-shirt, though we have lower price point mugs, key chain, etc. , and exit is Rs 24,000 for jackets. Average bill size is very difficult to share as we have different channels and consumer behaves quite differently at various channels.

Kindly highlight the current distribution network? What are your plans to increase the same?

We have our own distribution network which is growing rapidly. As of now we have about 800 dealers working with us. Then, we have our brand store that we call company owned stores, we retail motorcycles and gear boards via this channel. Then we have five exclusive gear stores, there are high visibility stores located at various metro locations including Delhi, Bangaluru, Mumbai, Pune etc. These stores are primarily used for gears only. Then we have our own e-commerce and we have tied-up with leading market places including Flipkart and Myntra to name a few.  

Shed light on your omni channel strategy?

We are witnessing a growing trend omni-channel rather than just e-commerce. Customers like to explore different arrangement when it comes to purchasing, for example, buying from home and picking up from the store/ dealership or vice versa. So we are working towards creating an omni-channel experience where e-commerce will play a key role along with these five brand store/ gear store in terms of providing the experience of the brand. Our brand store will become places where people can bring things for exchange, a place of culture, a meeting place of motor cycling community rather than a pure selling place.

At last, mention your growth plans?

As of now, our focus is on urban areas where usage of riding gear is lot more. We are looking to explore tier 2-3 towns as well with relevant merchandise via dealership model. Different towns/cities have different kind of consumption pattern so omni-channel will come to play  


Samrat Som