Owner of Unirox Cycles Subir Ghosh touches upon the importance of digitalisation in transport in India and its impact in our day-to-day lives, along with highlighting how high-end bikes and cycles are becoming more popular among the youth of this country
Starting in 1964, my father Suresh Ghosh initially laid down the foundation stone of Unirox Cycles. Back then, it was not a big venture as cycle companies were limited. Gradually, times changed and more and more companies started to venture into this field. Having a family business meant I too would join it to take up the legacy. Having an MBA in international trade strengthened my position and around 1995, I took my baby steps into the business and immediately had an urge to take it to international standards. Our first path-breaking set-up was the establishment of production units around the Falta Special Economic Zone around 2000. Very soon, we were gearing up to start our second unit too. This was when we started importing foreign parts in order to produce bicycles, which we thought of exporting abroad.
At a time when the production of bicycles had already started, the focus was entirely on two-wheelers. The primary reason for expanding the business was to export bicycles abroad as outside India the demand for cycles and bicycles is still considerably high. However, in India, we then launched the Unirox Cycles that mainly targeted the upper classes of society.
USP of Unirox:
If we study the history of cycles, we will see that initially they were termed as “poor man’s vehicle”, as it was one mode of commutation which could be afforded by everyone at a very cheap cost. There are companies (Hero Honda and BSA), who initially launched their range of affordable cycles for everyone. We did not want to market our product like that. Our product range includes mountain bikes and world-class high-quality bikes at an affordable rate. We focused on such bicycles because we wanted to specifically target urban youth. The main focus is to export bicycles to different places. Initially, we exported bicycles to different neighbouring countries including Bangladesh but later expanded it to foreign countries, mainly to Europe, including Finland, Norway, Poland, Italy, Sweden and many more. It is surprising yet amazing that 80 percent production of our annual turnover is exported. It is because we produce our bicycles based on high-end German technology as we have collaborated with several German design centres there since many of the buyers are in the international markets and it is important to focus on their needs, which will very soon have an impact on the Indian market as well. There might be other bicycle companies in the Indian market but Unirox has a clear mission — ‘create better bikes and improve the overall cycling experience’.
E-bikes and e-cycles:
It is known to all how digitisation is having an impact on the entire world. Education, society and economy – almost every aspect of human lives is being impacted. At such a critical juncture even the transport system is being influenced. It is a known fact for many of us that by now we are used to seeing many e-buses, e-motors on the roads. Very soon, this is going to dominate the transport system which will gradually put an end to all types of petrol and diesel motor vehicles. We wanted to give a try to this because we too feel that e-mobility is the determining new trend. I am excited about this venture as this is not only eco-friendly but easier to use as well. With the advent of lithium-based batteries, which now can be used in bicycles, it gives the joy of riding a new façade. Europe is all set to welcome e-mobility by the end of 2030. Currently, India too is giving a lot of incentives on e-transport but the initiation of a full-fledged shift will take a lot of time. We will first export it and then start our production in India.
The most important part of having high-end cycles is that it can be used for daily purpose as well as for sports or tourism. Unirox tries to bridge the gap between high-quality bikes and affordable rates, allowing people to choose and buy from a variety of cycles from the existing range. We aim at producing custom specification bikes for OEM (Original Equipment Management) supply to Bicycle & e-bike brands across the entire European Union and the US. These bikes are produced and sold as per the specifications of OEM purchasers, thus giving them the tractability of buying high-quality bikes without additional tariffs.
It gives us immense pride to partner with the various projects handled by the Indian government. When the government recognises these ventures, it gives us a boost to produce more and sell more. Global bikes at affordable rates are still a myth in our country. But very soon, India too will realise the value of such bicycles which will transform the face of e-mobility in the near future.