Interview with Vikram Pawah

Managing Director, Harley-Davidson India

Date: 07 Sep 2016 | Author: P.Tharyan

Harley-Davidson has had a presence in India since 2009. Are you satisfied with the progress the company has made in the country?

We have built a firm foundation over the past seven years and consistently demonstrated the power of being a customer-led company very successfully. We continue to receive unparalleled enthusiasm for the brand and now have over 12000 proud owners experiencing the freedom and adventure of Harley-Davidson on Indian roads since we opened our first dealership in 2010. Industry body SIAM has consistently placed us as the undisputed market leader in India in the segment of 600 + cc motorcycles. Our market share as per SIAM currently stands at 59.8% which is significantly more than the combined share of other players.

More importantly, in the last seven years, we have helped people see the relevance of Harley-Davidson to their own lives. With every year passing, consumers have turn to Harley-Davidson for authentic and inspiring ways of self-expression – be it through our motorcycles, motor clothes, customization options or rallies and events.

As we progress, extending the reach of our brand continues to remain our key priority. We are dialing things up and remain committed to delivering high-demand, profitable products and premium retail experiences; being a leader in the marketplace, extending the brand’s reach beyond core customers and markets and cultivating great talent, leadership and culture for a sustainable future.

 You have products ranging from a little above the Rs. 4 lakh mark to ones as high as Rs. 30 lakh. Among your category of well-heeled customers, is there a preference for the low priced bikes?

Owning a Harley Davidson is an extension of your personality. We offer 13 motorcycles in the India market and each motorcycle has its own unique characteristics that appeal to different riders. We want customers to have a Harley-Davidson motorcycle when they want it and not only when they can afford it. A testament to that is the Street 750 motorcycle that is accessible to a much wider global customer base. The racetrack-inspired Sportster family resonates with enthusiasts looking for sleek lines and maneuverability, best suited for the country’s city roads. The Dynas resonate with those looking for classic chrome styling, and is a bike suited both for city traffic and open highway. The Softail family, with the legendary Fatboy and Heritage Softail Classic, allow for a timeless look and touring essentials, for biking enthusiasts who love heading out on the open highways to break away from their everyday routine life. And finally, our Touring family offers extraordinary comfort, power and durability for any on-road terrain or climate - the ultimate motorcycles for the true explorer within you.

 You have an assembly plant in Bawal in Haryana.  Among your 13 bikes, as many as eight are assembled here in India. Are any components or parts sourced from India or are these bikes assembled out of 100pc imported parts?

Our sourcing decisions are based on quality, component availability, supplier reliability and cost. We have an exacting quality and performance standards for all components, regardless of source.

What is the single most popular product in your portfolio and why do you think this model has managed the maximum appeal?

We’ve had a great response to the Harley-Davidson Street 750. This motorcycle in particular is an example of how we are providing opportunity to enthusiasts to experience the Harley-Davidson lifestyle and welcome them to our family. It’s the most popular motorcycle in its segment and continues to do well for us.

What is the current status of your dealerships (Numbers) and is the H-D accessory business also growing in size in India?

Currently, we have 21 authorised independent dealerships in India.  The urge to make a personal statement through customisation is central to the soul of motorcycle riders and Harley-Davidson is the longtime, undisputed leader of custom. We offer more than 5000 genuine parts and accessories for our motorcycles ranging from paint to muffler. Interest in customization continues among our customers across the country, which is a clear reflection of the passion which they have for the brand.

More bikes mean more owners, so is it fair to assume that HOG enthusiasm and activities have increased?

The Harley Owners Group is a growing community in India and currently we have 7,000 H.O.G. members and 22 H.O.G. chapters each unique & representative of the local riders and their culture. Local chapters allow people who share a passion for Harley-Davidson motorcycles to come together and give riders plenty of opportunities to meet with friends, have fun, support worthy causes, de-stress and of course ride. At the upcoming 5th Eastern H.O.G. Rally in Indore which is being organised by the Tiger Chapter we expect over 1000 H.O.G. members from across India.


Tags Harley-Davidson interview Harkey-Davidson Sportster Softail family Fatboy Dynas Vikram Pawah SIAM Heritage Softail cruisers superbikes


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Vikram Pawah
Date - 07 Sep 2016

Managing Director, Harley-Davidson India