We are planning to have 200 Polaris Experience Zones by 2018: Pankaj Dubey
We are planning to have 200 Polaris Experience Zones by 2018: Pankaj Dubey

With having 54 experience zones across the country Polaris India is a planning to add more 146 zones by the end 2018 through franchising and sees the potential to take it to 400-500 zones in the next five to seven years. Also while offering its products through Snapdeal the company negotiating with other leading e-commerce players. Further breifing over the company's stratgy of offering more experiences of its ATVs for acquiring customers, spending much on digital marketing, still early stage ATV market in India and having discussion with government authorities to approve ATVs as road leagal in India Pankaj Dubey, Managing Director, Polaris India Pvt Ltd. spoke to Indianretailer.com on the occasion of launching the companies 54th Experiecnce Zone in the suburb of Mumbai.

With 54 Experience Zones across the country what are your plans of adding more zones?
By 2018 we are planning to have 200 Experience Zones. From now onwards each year we will add about 50 Polari Experience Zones so we will be adding around 146 Polaris Experience Zones in three years of time. There is a potential to take it to 400-500 Experience Zones in five to seven years time. As metros like Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi contributing the higher demand for our products the large number of these experience zones will be in metros. These Experience Zones offering rides in Polaris All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) constitute the largest customer group for us followed by individual customers and governemtn establishments.

All these experience zones will be launched through franchisees, none of this will be owned by Polaris India. The start investment for franchisees varies from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 2cr -2.5cr. Most of the franchisees start with Rs 25 lakh to Rs 50 lakh.

What is a plan of enhancing the e-commerce presence?
We are tied-up with companies like Snapdeal and negotiating with couple of other as well. Right now we are using their expertise rather launching our own portal. Also we have our own website but we havn’t started with e-commerce portal yet and havn’t thought of it.    

What is a number of SKUs that you offer and which part of the country contributes higher demand?
We have more than 150 SKUs in categories of off-road vehicles, motorcyles, snowmobiles, commercial and govt vehicles along with accessories and apparels. Out of total 35-40 percent demand comes from Sounth, 25-30 percent from West and 35 -40 percent from North. The the biggest and growing market for us is Jammu & Kashmir where people are very explored and use ATVs at the maximum.

Currently we have three warehouses in the country that's in Faridabad, Mumbai and Chennai respectively. The recent one Faridabad set-up spread across 45,000 sqft is the complete knock-down (CKD) and a warehouse to cater North and East region.

These products appeals to 6 years to 50 years. The core customer group is 30 to 45-50 years old. But youth feel excited and happy to ride our products. We also have products designed for 6 to 12 years old children.

How is a demand for your multi utility ATV Hammerhead? Are people buying into the idea?
We are getting good demand for Hammerhead from North, Sounth and West region. The states like Rajasthan, Namil Nadu and others contributing good demand. It is not for metros like Mumbai and Delhi instead it is for tier III and IV towns where there is no electricity and road condition is extremely bad. It is not just a car but also the pick-up van with the generator and can be used for water pumping, agriculture activities and can be used for carrying goods from small to big towns.

Mostly the small agriculture producers are buying it with the intention of reducing the shipment cost and the basic utilisation of traveling with the family in the car. Thus it is much harder to create a segment which is like a reverse.   

With ATVs the larger focus in on tourism or defence?
Current focus is on two major areas, tourism is major and the other one is security forces whether it is army or paramilitary or forest department. In defence we are just at the entry point but with the kind of utility we bring on the board the business will become big in the coming years.

What are your marketing and advertising strategies?
There are two strategies the one is to give more and more of experiecnce of the vehicles and other one is digital marketing. To expand to defence and individual customers we organise more and more test drives for experience. Armies across the world are using ATVs. For me the marketing and advertising is either you see it static or moving or hear or feel it. Our larger marketing budget goes for digital marketing and test drive events for experience. We use high component on social media, use digital advertising, optimise our website and also placed on various platforms like Google analytics.

What is the size of ATVs industry in India and what is your market share?
The Industry size of India is very small it at early stage but the potential is very big. When the industry size is of 4,000-5,000 a year it would make us an interesting company to invest into this. That is what at the minimum is what we are looking at. We sell 1,000-1,200 units a year with having 20 percent market share. In the last five years we have grown with 25-30 percent CAGR . In the next few years time Polaris India will become one of the top subsidiaries Polaris Industries Inc.

Unlike Europe ATVs aren’t road legal in India and you had a discussion with the government  authories in that aspect so how proactive is the govt and how do you see the future?
Govt is receptive of portion of that idea and it’s a matter of time. There is hardly any competition in the country in the ATV space so when we go to the government authorities they see that if they are doing to something good for the industry then its only for the Polaris. If there would be five players in the industry then it would have made the difference. Tehchnically we follow standard European norms so they should approve that but there has been the mix of reactions from the govt and there is no concrete proposal or finalisation. Once they will approve it will pave the way for other manufacturers as well.

How do you look at electric vehicles market?
We do have electric vehicles and I see the market is doing well. We have sold to jammu  Kashmir police and also to Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. I see a lot of scope for the vehicles in the future with people becoming more environment conscious.  

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