Pankaj Munjal: The Cycle King
Pankaj Munjal, you must be familiar with the name, the world’s largest maker and supplier of cycles and cycle parts have an interesting story to tell.
He stays fit and healthy because every Sunday morning he load his cycle in the trunk of his BMW and h eads towards Rashtrapati Bhawan, where all cycling enthusiasts awaits him outside the standstone palace. He starts his cycling from Raisina Hill at an uniform speed up to India Gate, and burns hundreds of calories with other cyclists.
Hero cycle makes around 5.6 million cycles every year which makes an annual profit of Rs 224 crore. The company makes a profit of Rs 400 on each cycle. The company also supplies gearboxes to BMW for its performance bikes, Munjal also own high-end retail chain Oma, also the largest disc brakes maker for cars, and is palnning to set up a luxury hotel in Gurgaon for Rs 1,000 crore after he had bought land from Punjab National Bank for Rs 400 crore in an auction and has tied up with Marriott to set up India’s first Edition.
Cycles business is a low-tech business where Indians buy over 10 million cycles every year. Munjal is aware of the need to move up the value chain. JWT and Urban Trail has given a complete makeover to the Hero brand. Moreover, Munjal has also set up a company in Denver to market his cycles and Kevin Lamar, president of Schwinn, the oldest and one of the best cycle company in the US, runs that office. “I have manufacturing competence, cost leadership and automotive experience. We will manufacturing here and have a marketing team and warehouses in the US,” says Munjal.