Steelbird International is among such manufacturers that managed to report positive Year-on-Year (Y-oY) sales growth in FY21. With the ongoing second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses have gone on backfoot and many are still struggling to find ways to see the road to recovery. Manav Kapur, Executive Director, Steelbird International says that when the lockdown was implemented last year, the first quarter was pretty bad. The auto industry was not in good shape but post-pandemic, there was a sudden demand which helped the company cover up for the loss incurred last year. That was primarily because of the personal mobility demand going up and people wanted to move away from shared mobility to personal mobility and that’s how the demand started picking up.
There was a huge demand for personal mobility in the market but as far as the challenges that Steelbird International faced, the company primarily faced difficulty in the relocation of manpower. Now, the second wave is hitting the country with the government implementing partial lockdown across India, Kapur says that he is not sure how this thing is going to work and which area is working and which area is not. He adds that the moment this wave goes away, Steelbird is not too sure to see this kind of demand again because whosoever wants to buy a vehicle has already brought one.
The Road to Recovery
Steelbird International says that it reported 26 percent Y-oY growth in the previous fiscal and is expecting that the growth will be slow in the first quarter of this year. However, if the company sees similar demand like last year, then there will be double-digit growth in the following quarter as well, Kapur stated. Moreover, he adds that the company has achieved 100 percent recovery when talking of pre-Covid levels in the business. Kapur says that Year-on-Year, Steelbird International is growing at a fast pace.
Watch video | How Steelbird helmets are made:
No plans to enter the premium tyre segment
On asking about the thoughts on the premium tyre import ban and will Steelbird International enter the said segment, Kapur says that for now, it is not a big opportunity for any of the manufacturers because the demand is so niche and it is so small that practically and economically, it is not viable. Steelbird International states that it is not planning to launch tyres for any premium bikes. The reason being, the difference in technology when you go for the premium tyres. Also, he adds that as premium bikes are very low-volume products, they don’t do justice for the kind of investment needed to start the new project.
Steelbird International says that it expects to achieve double-digit growth in FY22 as well. Kapur says that last year, the company saw a very good time even post Covid because the cash flow was there. He believes that the company is on the right track and if you look at the GST collection, they are high. Kapur is quite optimistic about the auto sector and says that it will boom. It affects the economy as the first thing you do is to buy a vehicle once you have some sort of surplus money.
Plans if there is a Third Covid-19 Wave
Kapur says that when the nationwide lockdown was announced last year, everyone was in shock and people were not able to get time to stock up, they were not able to produce things because we know that the demand is going to come back as the lockdown opens. So, the precaution the company has taken this year is to stock up everywhere, right from the raw material to the object. So that once we have the demand back, we should not be struggling.
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