Govt support must to boost a culture of bicycling: Experts, Mr Pankaj Munjal, Chairman, The Bicycle ExCon and Chairman and Managing Director Hero Cycles Ltd, said, “To boost the bicycle industry in India, the Government should waive taxes on cycles costing less than Rs 5,000, as these are purchased by people belonging to the low-income group.
“Yoga and bicycling can be a panacea to all lifestyle ills that we are facing today,” said Shri V P Singh Badnore, Governor, Punjab & Administrator, UT Chandigarh, said while addressing global bicycle industry leaders at the inaugural session of ‘The Bicycle ExCon 2016’, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in collaboration with the All India Cycle Manufacturers Association (AICMA), the Government of Punjab and the Chandigarh Administration at CII Northern Region headquarters, here today.
“Punjab has been ranked top in India in terms of infrastructure facilities. The State offers the best-in-class connectivity with a well-connected road network, international airbase, abundant water supply and power. Availability of technocrats and skilled labour make Punjab a fertile market for the bicycle industry to flourish and reach its zenith.” “The newly-inaugurated ‘Heritage Walk’ in Amritsar with no-vehicle zone is an exemplary and a welcome step in making the Holy city an Eco-friendly city. Government of Punjab’s ambitious project to set up a state-of-the-art ‘Hi Tech Cycle Valley’ at Ludhiana will provide a complete ecosystem to manufacturing Hi Tech Bicycle and e-cycles,” he added.
Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, Industries & Commerce Minister, Government of Punjab, said, “The Cycle Valley in Ludhiana will act as an area of technology & knowledge exchange and collaboration for Bicycle and e-cycle manufacturers of Punjab. One of the strengths of Punjab is its thriving eco-system of well-established Micro, Small and Medium enterprises. A strong base of close to 160 thousand MSMEs truly reflects the enterprising spirit of the people of State as 90% of the bicycle component manufacturing industry comprises the Small Scale industries.” “Today, Punjab accounts for 92% of India’s production of bicycle parts and 75% of bicycle production of India. Ludhiana in Punjab, popularly known as the ‘Bicycle capital of India’, is the hub for bicycle manufacturing in India. With over 50,000 cycles manufactured every day (2014) and 3,500 to 4,000 MSMEs in the city, the bicycle components industry provides employment to approximately 0.5 Million people in Ludhiana itself. Under the dynamic leadership of Hon’ble Chief Minister of Punjab, the Cycle Valley in Ludhiana will provide great impetus to the local industry,” he added.
Mr Pankaj Munjal, Chairman, The Bicycle ExCon and Chairman and Managing Director Hero Cycles Ltd, said, “To boost the bicycle industry in India, the Government should waive taxes on cycles costing less than Rs 5,000, as these are purchased by people belonging to the low-income group. It is strongly recommended that the Ministry of Urban Development ensures the provision of cycling infrastructure in cities by making the provision of NMT (Non-motorised Transport) infrastructure mandatory. The Government should also provide incentives up to 30% for people buying e-bicycles in accordance with the FAME Scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles). By 2030, car engines with combustion technology will turn obsolete and the only alternative left is to take the bicycling culture forward,” he added.
Dr Dinesh Dua, Chairman, CII Chandigarh Council, and CEO and Whole-time Director, Nectar Lifesciences Ltd, said, “The bicycle market, which is currently valued at USD 50 Billion, will grow to USD 65 Billion by 2019 at a CAGR of 3% and the Asia Pacific region will emerge as the biggest market for bicycle consumption.”
Dr Dua also shared during the The Bicycle ExCon 2016 being organised by CII, Phoenix, an icon in bicycle manufacturing in China, and Buchel GmBH & Co., a reflector manufacturer from Germany, have signed MoUs with Invest Punjab for their future investments in the State of Punjab.
Mr Ma Zhongchao, Chairman, China Bicycle Association (CBA),said that based on statistics, the annual carbon emissions reduction from riding an e-bike is equivalent to growing 22 trees, and as there are 143 million e-bikes in China, the overall carbon reduction effect is comparable to growing 160,000 hectares of area covered in trees. “At present, nearly 100 cities in China are implementing public bicycle rentals, and about 30 cities possess dedicated green bike paths.”A display of bicycle products and business meetings were added attraction of the event.
With ready infrastructure and technology in place to nurture a cycling culture, European nations are example of how the right kind of government support and technological solutions can not only boost the cycle industry but also promote an eco-friendly and healthy lifestyle for the general masses. Experts from European nations said this at Session on Technology Gaps & Digital Manufacturing held atThe Bicycle ExCon 2016 organised by Confederation of Indian Industry, in collaboration with Government of Punjab, All India Cycle Manufacturers Association (AICMA), and Chandigarh Tourism. Mr Peter Brolos, Head of Marketing and Product Development, Hero Cycles, Europe, said successful emerging trends in EU-bicycle market were because quick adaptive market, flexibility to innovate and customization. He cited Denmark Capital Copenhagen as an example with 63% cycle consumers owing to exclusive Cycling infrastructure like Cycle stands, highways, Roads, Cycle pumps, resting stands, tilted dustbins, Green light lanes, etc.
Mr Sharad Verma, Partner & MD Boston Boston Consulting Group,said the bicycle industry should focus on tier three and four cities because due to changing lifestyle demands and desire for healthier lifestyle people here were ready to spend on latest products.
Mr Moreno Fioravanti, Member, (CONEBI) Confederation of the European Bicycle Industries, said only Innovation was the key to stimulate demand and as an alternate to the automobile industry, quality of products cannot be compromised.
Dr Zhaoyang Wang, CEO, Melie Group & Pheonix Bicycles, suggested three key strengths to make Indian market global standards labour, quality, innovation.
At the session on ‘Frontier Business Processes- Skill Development, Brand Building and E-Commerce’, experts emphasised on the need for innovation and design for the emerging bicycle industry in India. Mr K C Ramamoorthy, Vice-President, International Business, TI Cycles of India, said, “Technology is bringing in revolutionary changes in creation, delivery and consumption of products. With the vastly improved quality of brands, making a choice is becoming increasingly difficult for most customers. While lack of variety moved consumers from traditional stores to modern and big retail, complexity is driving them towards sources that will help to simplify and ease their purchase decisions. India, with 400 million internet users, is a huge market waiting to be explored. The bicycle industry needs to substantially move to the digital marketplace and offer strategically to the consumers.”Mr Gurmeet Singh Kular, President, Federation of Industrial and Commercial Organisation, (FICO), Ludhiana, said, “Today, the demand is for high-end and electric cycles but we are the world leaders in manufacturing old style common man’s bicycles. We lag in innovative technology and international designs. We need to join hands with global players in the bicycle industry such as China and Taiwan to boost the Indian market. With international players coming in, India can become a hub for export of high-end bicycles as creation of a unique eco-system can result in reduction of production cost as well.”
At the session on ‘International best practices for expanding cycling demand’, experts said that by way of making bicycling a recreational activity, we need to promote cycling as a healthy activity among all age groups.