Tri­umph was the Miss­ing Piece: Ba­jaj

The Economic Times - - Brands: Creating Desire -

Tri­umph was the miss­ing piece in Ba­jaj Auto’s global mo­tor­cy­cle port­fo­lio, says manag­ing di­rec­tor Ra­jiv Ba­jaj. Ba­jaj Auto ex­pects “ex­tremely sig­nif­i­cant” num­bers from the part­ner­ship, he tells ET’s

and Ke­tan Thakkar. Ac­cord­ing to him, the Du­cati val­u­a­tion was “beyond our com­pre­hen­sion.” Edited ex­cerpts:

What does Tri­umph bring to the ta­ble? It rep­re­sents the last piece that was miss­ing in our global mo­tor­cy­cle port­fo­lio — a pre­mium, easy-rid­ing brand.

Will the ac­tion shift to the 250cc to 500cc mar­ket in In­dia and other emerg­ing mar­kets? It has been steadily (shift­ing). By 2020, reg­u­la­tions will de­mand that ev­ery mid-class bike must sport fuel in­jec­tion, ABS, and other such tech­nolo­gies. This is go­ing to be an in­flec­tion point as it will re­cal­i­brate in­dus­try pric­ing in this seg­ment and es­tab­lish a near level play­ing field be­tween the in­cum­bents and the chal­lengers. This is a mag­nif­i­cent op­por­tu­nity for joint prod­ucts from the Tri­umph-Ba­jaj part­ner­ship.

Can Ba­jaj repli­cate the suc­cess of KTM with Tri­umph? Sure.

What are the num­bers that this part­ner­ship is look­ing at? Hard to say, but ex­tremely sig­nif­i­cant both in In­dia and glob­ally.

Why is there no eq­uity com­po­nent to this part­ner­ship like with the KTM deal? Be­cause our part­ner­ship with Tri­umph, as with our highly suc­cess­ful and en­dur­ing ones with Kawasaki and KTM, is based on sig­nif­i­cant mu­tu­al­ity of re­ward and recog­ni­tion, rec­i­proc­ity of skills and sac­ri­fice and trans­parency of in­tent and in­for­ma­tion. We are open to in­vest­ment but don’t con­sider it to be a pre­req­ui­site.

Are there any mile­stones in the agree­ment that you can tell us? More on prod­ucts and mar­kets in good time.

With Tri­umph, what is the fu­ture of Dom­i­nar, which is mak­ing its pres­ence felt in the mar­ket? Dom­i­nar will keep grow­ing as it serves its own seg­ment glob­ally, which is quite dis­tinct from that of Tri­umph’s.

ON PART­NER­SHIP It is based on sig­nif­i­cant mu­tu­al­ity of re­ward and recog­ni­tion, rec­i­proc­ity of skills, sac­ri­fice and trans­parency of in­for­ma­tion RAJIVBAJAJ Manag­ing Di­rec­tor

With Tri­umph, Ba­jaj is not just en­ter­ing a mar­ket con­sid­ered the stronghold of your good friend Sid­dhartha Lal (of Eicher Mo­tors, which owns Royal En­field), but a seg­ment that will see ac­tion from Mahin­dra-BSA-JAWA and TVS BMWs. I'm not aware of their plans.

Did you get a call from Sid­dhartha af­ter the an­nounce­ment? Tri­umph is now right in his back­yard. Of course. We are good friends and we cel­e­brate each other’s suc­cesses. Other than Sid, my other good in­dus­try friend Vinod Dasari, as also oth­ers from dif­fer­ent parts of the world, from Kawasaki to Po­laris, have con­veyed their com­pli­ments. I trea­sure all these friend­ships with these very mag­nan­i­mous lead­ers.

Why did Ba­jaj Auto/KTM pull out of Du­cati? For two good rea­sons: too much over­lap with KTM and a val­u­a­tion that is beyond our limited com­pre­hen­sion.

FILE PHOTO

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