An Exclusive Interview with Polaris India
Modified On Jun 14, 2013 05:55 PM By Rajpal
US based off-road vehicle manufacturer Polaris is the global leader in off-road vehicles. Polaris stepped in the Indian market in 2011 and they have made a good brand name in such a short span of time. We recently got a chance to do an interview with Mr. Pankaj Dubey, Managing Director of Polaris India Pvt. Ltd. We discussed Polaris' future plans in India along with their strategy to promote off-roading in India.
Q.1 Polaris is the global leader in off-road vehicles and ATVs, and you know how to rule the market. What is Polaris' strategy for the Indian market, where off-roading and adventure sport vehicle market is in its initial stage?
India is a booming market. The country is witnessing a drastic change in lifestyle, which has also increased the inclination of people towards sports and adventure. This has opened a wide scope for the off-roading vehicles industry to gain success.
The opportunities such as high end racing events like Raid the Himalayas, Desert Storm, Dakshin Dare, further act as catalyst to promote Off-Road Racing in India. In a bid to cash the opportunity, Polaris India has always been keen to participate in these events. Apparently, it has emerged as a clear winner in the past event in which Polaris participated. Setting a new example for the off road vehicle market, Polaris’ vehicle, which participated in the Desert Storm event last year, demanded no service for 5 consecutive days.
Q.2 There are off-roading enthusiasts in India as well, but currently there are a limited number of events happening. What is Polaris' plan to promote off-roading in India?
Besides participating in the racing event, Polaris has organized tracks in various cities of India. We currently have 16 Polaris Experience Zone spread across the nation. These tracks help people to get an experience of off road racing culture without going too far in the forests, deserts or snow. This not only helps us taking the adventure to a new level but also offers business opportunity for entrepreneurs wherein they can join hands with Polaris and setup a business that is not only lucrative but also Fun.
In addition, our excellent quality dealer network in India has added to increase the interest in ATV’s. Our top five markets are Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. Three south cities are in our top market.
Q.3 In coming days, which new products you will be launching?
There is a list of launches that are in the pipeline, however, a lot of brainstorming and planning needs to be done to give them some shape. Currently, as per announcement made, Indian Chief is expected to get launched in near future.
However, introducing the ranges in India would entirely depend on the requirement by the customers. Any launch or introduction in India would typically be in accordance with the demand from the customer.
Q.4 Polaris supplies ATVs to Beach Patrols, Forest Rangers, Border Security, City Police, Army and Fire Services departments in many countries. Is there any such plans for India?
Polaris is regularly in touch with the concerned authorities, departments and governmental branch to introduce its vehicles in above-mentioned sectors in India. The work is in progress and will let you know in case of development.
Q.5 Recently we learned that the Indian Chief will be launched in India as well, so when we can expect the Indian bikes in India and what about Victory bikes?
Indian Motorcycles is all set to launch its new motorcycle, the Indian Chief, which will be unveiled to the public in the first week of August this year at the famous Sturgis motorcycle festival. The Indian Chief will be featuring the new 1811cc engine, expected to produce 100 PS of power with over 150 Nm of torque.
The decision to bring Indian to India has been taken. It is early days yet but it will happen. Indian Motorcycles will come to India within a year from now is what we know. As far as Victory is concerned, it will also come, we have always maintained that, but first Indian will come and then Victory will follow. We will share the plan as and when it decided.
Q.6 We know that Polaris is not all about leisure vehicles, you have a wide range of products, can you please classify your product range for our readers?
In India, we have broadly have launched a multitude of products covering various applications. Our range of products in India includes ATV, RANGER® and RZR® side-by-side vehicles and snowmobiles.
The ATV range of Polaris in divided into three groups: youth level, entry level and professional level; while RANGER® is more of a utility vehicle to be used in fields like agriculture, mining, forests and others. Meanwhile, RZR® series has a sporty look for those who enjoy sports and adventure.
For information on the list of range available in USA, you can visit our website www.polaris.com, while for the list of range launched in India, visit www.polarisind.in.
Q.7 What is Polaris' strategy to expand its dealership network and reach?
So far, we have 14 strong dealers spread across the nation and plan to open 50 more outlets by the end of 2016. The dealerships at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Dehradun, Jaipur, Jammu, Kolkata, Luck now, Mumbai , New Delhi ,Ludhiana, Indore and Hyderabad have been planned to optimize the availability of our products. The dealerships are state of the art and offer service workshops .
Q.8 Nebula Automotive has also launched their ATVs in India, while others are planning to enter including Profusion Exotic cars from Britain, competition for you?
Polaris is world’s no. 1 off-road vehicle company. It further gains an upper edge accounting to its vehicle that are completely built unit (CBU) and are manufactured in the US. Though new in India, we are already an established brand in rest of the world, hence we have a different set of customer as compared to competitors.
Q 9 ATVs are still not street legal in India, won't it affect your plans for the Indian market, or you expect things to change later?
We are in constant effort to talk with the government to make off-road vehicles more approachable and legal in the country. Therefore, we believe and expect the government to consider our efforts and allow our vehicles to come on road. We are in talks with different state governments and department to chalk out ways to make these vehicles legal on roads.
Q.10 At last, how is Polaris' experience in India till now?
Over the last few years, India has witnessed a tremendous rise in enthusiasm for off-road experiences. So far, we have 14 strong dealers spread across the nation and plan to open 50 more outlets by the end of 2016. The dealerships are state of the art and offer service workshops
Besides, we own 16 Polaris Experience Zone spread across the nation that help us to reach out to more people and in turn give the participants a chance to experience the off road racing experience within their city.
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