on the sport largely because my son is a supporter of Newcastle United in the EPL. In fact, we have received requests for jersey sponsorships from a few EPL teams recently, including Tottenham. When we expand to developed markets, we will be look at such options.
Hero has had a long association with cricket. But we now see you promoting other games both at home and overseas.
We have not stopped our cricket sponsorships, but decided to start supporting other sports as well. I believe Indian corporates need to spend much more on other sports like hockey, badminton, football and kabaddi, if they are to be brought up to international standards.
South and Central America seems to be your focus market. But unlike most Indian auto firms, southeast asia is not on your radar.
We have decided to focus on Latin America and Africa, apart from developed markets. Southeast Asia is a big market, but very competitive with Japanese players commanding huge share. We will get there at a later stage — right now it would stretching ourselves too much as we already have a lot on our plate.
We have launched our bikes in markets like Peru and Ecuador, and are now starting our first fully-owned overseas plant in Colombia next year. Starting 2016, we will supply to Brazil from this plant and, as volumes grow, we will scout for land in Brazil as well.
We are also looking to enter Argentina, where we are looking for a partner. However, there are several challenges there, such as a volatile currency. So we need significant export volumes to make it viable.
Will you open new marketing offices in other continents?
Right now, we are largely operating out of India, but soon we will have regional offices in different markets and have already started hiring overseas. South America will initially be handled out of Colombia, till the Brazil operations come up. For North America and other developed markets, Erik Buell Racing (Hero has about 49% stake) will be our base.