From Shoeb Farooq’s corner office, the view isn’t always the same. It can be the usual urban traffic, and it can also be snow-clad peaks of the Himalayas. As the business head of Triumph Motorcycles India, Farooq has to, oftentimes, travel with customers on experiential rides—from Himachal to Rajasthan, from south India to Spiti. “Over the years we have built a strong community around experiential riding,” Farooq says. Triumph India runs multiple experiential riding formats, such as Triumph adventure trails (seven-day format) and Triumph adventure weekends (two-day format). These are curated rides; the only thing a rider has to do is to ride and learn—yes, motorcycles such as the Tiger can be intimidating—and everything else is taken care of. “Our riding calendar runs through the year, but of course right now events are not happening. But I think the return should be quick,” he says. “Our curated rides will start from July onwards—the major ones are the Spiti and the Zanskar rides, and then there are weekend rides in Himachal.”
He adds that while motorcycling is a very good example of social distancing—there is one rider per motorcycle—going forward Triumph India will put some processes around social distancing when the riders take a halt or when the rides culminate.
Globally, for Triumph, the average age of a customer is 40-50 years, because people who have earned decent money by their middle age get into this sport. In India, however, it is far lower. “When we started it was about 35-45 years, but this age is coming down. A lot of millennials have started using Triumph motorcycles for daily commute—this opens up new opportunities and a new market for us. Within our offerings, the Roadster customer is the youngest (25-35 years of age),” Farooq says.
EMI support scheme
Recently the company started a finance scheme where it is investing money on behalf of the customer for three months. It has tied up with HDFC Bank and has not jacked up interest rates. So anyone who, say, buys a Triumph motorcycle in June, his July, August and September EMIs will be paid by Triumph India, and the customer only starts playing EMI October onwards. “Currently people are focusing on very essential things. At the same time, some do want to buy our motorcycles, so we said why not take the motorcycle right now and start playing from October. We know we are a non-essential category, a passion purchase, so we have to keep exciting people to keep up the passion,” Farooq adds. In addition, it hasn’t raised prices of BS6 motorcycles in the April-June quarter (these are currently available at BS4 prices). “Taken together, the benefit to the customer is pretty decent.” The first price hike Triumph will do is that of the new Street Triple in July, when its price will go up by around 2%.
In a two-wheeler segment end-to-end online buying is possible, barring the test riding part. Buyers of such high-end motorcycles usually take a test ride to figure out the right fit. Triumph India has now made the online buying process easier—it runs 360-degree demonstration of a motorcycle via video calls, and on its webpage it has created a configurator. A customer can choose colours and even put all the accessories and then send that configuration to the dealer. “We have reduced as many physical touchpoints as possible in the entire buying process. Even when a customer comes for a test ride, he or she has to use own helmet for the time being. We sanitise the motorcycles and even home deliver these once the purchase is done,” Farooq says.
No launches cancelled
Earlier this year Triumph India had planned 10 new launches in 2020, and it won’t cancel any of these. This week it launched the all-new Black editions of Bonneville T100 and T120.
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