Hero Cycles Launches Global Design Centre in the UK; Established at an Investment of £ 2m
Hero Cycles, one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of bicycles, today opened its Global Design Center in Manchester, established at an investment of 2 million pounds (Rs 169.59 million) with an objective of bringing together the best designers and innovators in the industry to develop the next generation of bike design and technology. Mr Pankaj Munjal, Chairman and Managing Director of Hero Cycles, formally cut the ribbon at the Hero Cycles Global Design Centre (GDC) at One Central Park, Manchester – a short distance from the National Velodrome in Manchester, the home of British cycling.
The facility marks a major leap for the Indian bicycle major that is working aggressively to conquer new shores and establish a stronghold in different parts of the world. Notably, Hero Cycles is working to increase its revenue share from overseas from around 20 per cent currently to 60 per cent by 2018.The Global Design Center aims to rationalize the company’s design functions, bringing together in one place its design, product development, innovation and market research departments. The GDC will employ 25 of the industry’s best designers and marketers from across Europe. The team will work across several bike segments including mountain bikes, road bikes, ladies and kids, as well as cutting edge electric bikes. The decision to choose Manchester, which has the highest student population of any city in Europe, was taken in October 2016. A number of other cities across Europe were considered for the design centre, including London and cycle-hubs in Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Berlin, but investment in the UK’s Northern Powerhouse came, according to Mr Munjal, thanks to Manchester’s “strong affinity with cycling culture” and its “undoubted design and engineering heritage”. As well as full time staff, the centre will have space for university students and will also take on apprentices under the British government’s Apprenticeship Scheme. “As we focus on global expansion plans, we need to harness global talent and have a design center that is located closer to some of our targeted markets. With major expansion plans in Europe, this Design Centre will help us produce technology and design to cater to differentiated products to suit the needs of different European markets. Our strategy is two-fold: to develop British brands in the UK, build them and export them across the Europe, Africa and India and secondly, to increase the value of our Indian-based bike brands.” says Mr Pankaj Munjal, Chairman and Managing Director, Hero Cycles. The bikes designed at the GDC will be manufactured at Hero’s plant in Sri Lanka and exported to Europe, Africa and India.Hero already has business partnerships in the North of the UK, having acquired a majority stake in Avocet Sports, a Manchester-based bike and accessories distributor, in August 2015 – their first partnership outside India.Avocet, which designs and develops bike brands for independent bike dealer market, including mountain bikes, kids and ladies bikes, electric bikes and tandems, will also benefit from the Global Design Centre.