How iconic motorcycle brand Royal Enfield is conceptualizing its fashion portfolio?

The apparel lineup is meticulously crafted for the people who consider riding an indulgence more than just a hobby.
How  iconic motorcycle brand Royal Enfield is conceptualizing its fashion portfolio?
Puneet Sood

Royal Enfield, an iconic motorcycle brand. After manufacturing classics for passionate riders, Royal Enfield, India’s most-loved motorcycle brand, has gone a step further offering a wide range of apparel and accessories which is purposely built for riding and can also be worn leisurely. The apparel lineup is meticulously crafted for the people who consider riding an indulgence more than just a hobby. In an exclusive conversation with Puneet Sood Head, Apparel Business, Royal Enfield, he shares more insignts of this business.

What is your assessment of the Riding Gear market in India? According to you, what are the factors propelling growth in this segment?

With today’s rider being more aware of the need for safety and still keen on expressing himself via the apparel he wears, our offerings focussed on safety, comfort and style have seen great traction. While there are riding gear options in the market, in my view the Indian market is still underserved in terms of value for money credible offerings. In addition, a lot of riding gear available in India isn’t customised for the Indian terrain or weather. We intend to bring a relevant offering for the motorcycling enthusiasts, with focus on safety, comfort and style, which in turn should propel the category growth. According to Techsci Research, the riding gear market is projected to grow at a CAGR of more than 12% to surpass $ 43.6 million by 2023 and thus gives immense growth opportunity.

How would you sum-up the journey of Royal Enfield in India so far? What kind of growth has the brand registered in the apparel segment?

The journey has been absolutely enthralling! Our motorcycles have been a symbol of freedom, adventure and exploration. To us motorcycling is not just about the motorcycle but about the motorcycling way of life. Our endeavour as a business is to be the rider’s alley in his quest for exploration and to help him express his love for the motorcycling way of life. We aim to further strengthen the brand message of pure motorcycling, increase accessibility for the consumers and to help them explore and express themselves better. We have come a long way in propagating and engaging with our riders on our philosophy of pure motorcycling and will continue to build relevance around motorcycling way of life. In terms of business revenue, we have exceeded the expectations we had set for ourselves and we continue to grow much faster than the industry rate of growth.

What is the price point and TG for apparel for Royal Enfield. How many categories do you have in this segment? Going forward, what are the plans for category expansion?

Offering a relevant and accessible range of motorcycling apparel and riding gear with focus on safety, comfort and style is one of the priorities for the Royal Enfield Apparel business. The thought behind developing the portfolio is to offer a range that is relevant for our riders irrespective of the terrain, weather conditions and destination. We are fortunate to have the love of a large riding community who constantly engaged with us and gives us feedback, thus helping us build relevance in range we offer. Our offering consists of lifestyle apparel and protective gear. In the recent past, we launched Street Wind- city riding jacket with CE approved armor which we believe is one of the most competitive offerings in the market yet (priced at Rs 4500). It is an all mesh jacket specifically designed with Indian weather in mind. Royal Enfield’s most technical and versatile jacket, Khardungla (priced at Rs.14,000) is an all-weather jacket with three layer construction and is meant for long distance riding. We have also built motorcycling relevance in the lifestyle range that we offer. Our lifestyle riding shoes come with ankle and toe protection. Similarly, our lifestyle jackets have provision to accommodate armour in case the rider choses. Reflective element has remained a focus across the lifestyle range that we offer, which helps improve visibility for the rider on the road and thus helps him stay safer.

 What kind of distribution is planned for the apparel segment? Going forward, what are the plans to scale up the distribution?

To ensure that our range of apparel and riding gear is easily accessible for all riders and motorcycling enthusiasts, we have taken a multichannel approach and are available online as well as at retail stores across the county. Our largest physical footprint is availability of our range across all Royal Enfield dealerships. To add to that, we are also available in select locations with our retail partners - Central. Our consumer may choose to buy our range online at our own online channel - or our partners like Amazon, Flipkart and Myntra.

Who do you see as your competition within the same space?

We started the business with an intention to enhance the motorcycling experience for our riders and to further promote our philosophy of pure motorcycling. We have developed a niche for ourselves and are happy with where we are currently. I am certain that we are moving in the right direction.

At last, kindly highlight your growth plans?

We have exceeded the goals we had set for ourselves and the outlook for the business remains to be extremely positive going forward. However, we would like to measure ourselves not just in terms of the revenue we are able to drive but also with the relevance we are able to build for motorcycling enthusiasts. Our constant effort is to offer a comprehensive and accessible range of apparel and riding gear to the riders with focus on safety, comfort and style. This enables us to act as a catalyst in a rider’s pursuit for motorcycling way of life.

Puneet Sood