Established in 2004, Firefox Bikes, a Hero Cycles group company is one of India's leading bicycle brands, offering an exclusive and expansive range of premium bikes and accessories. The brand offers premium quality, trendy mountain bikes, city bikes (or hybrid bikes), road bikes, women's bikes, kids' and junior bikes, and also electric bicycles. Firefox Bikes has 500+ stores across India, including all major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Guwahati, Bhopal, Chennai, Jodhpur, Pune, and many more.
“We have also appointed 32 distributors to cater to 50+ Tier III cities and beyond. The products are available at exclusive stores, multi-brand outlets, online - retailed through our website (www.firefoxbikes.com) and are also available on other leading e-commerce portals such as Amazon and Flipkart,” says Sukanta Das, CEO, Firefox Bikes.
“Going forward, we have plans to revolutionize the way cycles are sold in the domestic market. We are investing in digital tools to ramp up our D2C footprint,” he adds.
The brand has registered a 4X demand since the lockdown across cities including Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Ludhiana, Amritsar, and Pune.
“The demand comes in the wake of the recent spate in momentum for cycling in India, both as a recreational and fitness activity. There is a huge shift in the mindset of people towards a healthy lifestyle, lowering environmental footprint which is fuelling this ever-growing demand,” states Das.
Firefox omnichannel business model combines D2C (direct-to-consumer) innovations, a resilient countrywide offline network, and marketplaces - Amazon and Flipkart. Every online purchase is mapped to a dealer offline through a customized enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
“Being an aware brand, we understand the importance of in-store shopping experience and are working towards opening more experience stores across the country with an aim to provide an engaging, interactive and immersive experience to the consumers. What a customer can gain from visiting a store in person can build relationships and shape opinions in a way that an online presence couldn’t. We are looking to reignite the passion for adventure and health by creating such experiential stores thereby, attracting existing and potential customers,” he says.
“Secondly, the pandemic has accelerated a ‘technological revolution’ in retail. As a brand, we are investing more heavily in our digital offering and online customer journey,” he adds.
Innovation: The Ladder to Succeed
Firefox is revolutionizing the way cycles are sold in the domestic market. The brand has strengthened its online presence by integrating the dealer network, inventory, and even after-sales service on the cloud.
“To create a uniquely memorable experience that customers can associate with the brand, our stores have also employed the latest technology for holistic bicycle purchase assistance. Upon entering the store, you can find your ideal bike using the ‘Find My Bike’ application. Once you meet your perfect bike, it’s time for a ‘test ride’ on the in-store bike simulator. Here, you can get an almost real-life feel of riding the bike, enabling you to make a more informed choice. Assisting you in this process is our highly knowledgeable team that is ready to guide customers at every step of the way. From amateur riders to professionals, from kids to adults, our stores have exclusive bicycles and accessories for everyone,” he asserts.
Impact of Pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented bike boom in India. The premium cycling industry has seen 6X demand in growth. Such a rise in cycling has been caused by a growing inclination towards both personal fitness while maintaining social distance.
“At Firefox, we have clocked a 2X growth last year and we continue to grow at the same rate. Our online sales through our website have seen a 10X growth. The demand for bikes is coming largely from adult bikes - Mountain Terrain bikes and Hybrid bikes. We are currently looking at doubling our turnover again in 2022 as the strong demand for bikes that started during the lockdown last year is set to continue for the next two years. We have recently launched 6 entry-level premium bikes targeting the young adults at a very attractive price range starting Rs 9,999,” he shares.
“At Firefox, we are continuously working our way towards adding a new and exciting range of bikes to our existing portfolio. We’ll be unveiling new categories in the coming months,” he adds.
Firefox is bullish on growth and is working its way towards doubling the turnover over the next year.
“We currently have a retail network of 500+ stores. In the ongoing financial year, we plan an aggressive market penetration and branding strategy to drive growth, ramp up supply, and scale retail presence to bring the experience of premium biking to Tier II and Tier III markets. This year, we will also begin local manufacturing of our bikes at Hero Industrial Park in Ludhiana. Given the future market forecast expectations, the Hero Industrial Park would have a capability of scaling up its throughput to 10 million units which could prove to be a game-changer for the cycle industry,” he concludes