Avon Leads the Way – The Week
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Ludhiana, Punjab, India – Business Wire India
A humble beginning
Avon Cycles Ltd is the oldest and pioneer of cycle manufacturers whose Promethean capability has made them the third largest manufacturer in the huge Indian bicycle industry. Avon Cycles started small with a bicycle brake and saddle unit in 1948. His diligence and zeal led to the realization of Brother Pahwa’s lifelong ambition to provide quality yet affordable transportation under the form of Avon Cycles in 1952. Mr. Onkar Singh Pahwa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Avon Group, has been associated with the group for 47 years and has also served as CMD since 2002. The Pahwa Scions, Mr. Rishi Pahwa and Mr. Mandeep Pahwa have also carried forward the legacy of the Avon Group. Mr. Rishi Pahwa leads Marketing, Production and Purchasing while Mr. Mandeep Pahwa leads Finance and Sales. The company prides itself on having the simplicity of a family business, but with efficient corporate functionality with a hierarchy of executive presidents, vice presidents and general managers leading various functions.
As the Indian bicycle industry started to grow, most of the bicycle manufacturing companies relied on ancillary companies for the components needed to fully assemble the bicycle. Avon Cycles, as a pioneer, boasted of its facilities where it manufactured its own components such as steel tubes, steel strips and even hot rolled steel. The Avon Group is the first group in the world to achieve complete backward integration that is unmatched and unmatched anywhere else.
The advantages of a solid financial base
As one of the leading bicycle companies in India, Avon Cycles is known for manufacturing bicycles, electric rickshaws and electric scooters. They also branched out by entering the fitness equipment market with Avon Fitness Machine Private Limited. The authorized capital of Avon Cycles is nearly INR 100 lakhs and its paid-up capital is 89.6% or around INR 89.6 lakhs. The company had a turnover of INR 709 crore in 2020-2021.
Its market position is supported by a strong brand, an extensive distribution network, well-located units and quality products. Being in the top 3 players in the cycle industry in India, it holds an estimated market share of around 15%. The geo-favorable positioning of Ludhiana, which is close to the end-user and component market, helps reduce transportation costs and, therefore, supports the competitive pricing of its products.
Pioneering innovation with changing times
Avon Cycles’ key positioning has always been ‘bikes affordable for everyone’, so it has focused on developing a simple, low-cost cycle that addresses the mobility issues of the less privileged population. In 1952, the first batch of Avon bicycles were sold at an economical price of INR 100, making them truly “an ordinary man’s savari”. Avon Cycles continues to successfully supply quality products to a third of India’s cycling population over the years.
Today, Avon Cycles manufactures over 200 different cycle models such as mountain bikes, roadsters, young trainers, cycles for children, adults and roadsters that meet the demand of consumers aged 14 to 55. These products embody the style, luxury, quality and affordability that are synonymous with Avon Cycles.
In order to meet the needs of the most emerging urban consumers, Avon Cycles launched its mass premium segment named Cyclelec. As an agile company, Avon Cycles understood that the Covid pandemic has accelerated the need for safer, convenient yet affordable alternatives to public transport. Numerous studies have indicated that e-bikes are gaining popularity in urban markets considering social distancing guidelines and various quarantine rules.
In light of this, Avon Cycles has technologically advanced Cyclux in an electric cycle with a 36V Li-Ion battery with 5.8 Ah, IP 67 production and a 2-year warranty. Additionally, a series of e-bikes are on the way, starting with the spectacular CONNECT I and CONNECT II. The single four-hour charge is enough for a trip of 25 km in accelerator mode and 30 km in PAS Pedalec mode. Moreover, Avon Cycles has become the first brand to launch innovative bicycle models such as SLR and BMX in India.
Ever-expanding manufacturing prowess
Avon Cycles has three main manufacturing plants in India, two of which are located in the heart of the northern Indian trading city, Ludhiana. In order to meet the needs of eastern consumers, there is a manufacturing facility in Hazipur, Bihar, also known as the cycling capital of the country.
Avon Cycles is proud to deploy an astonishing 2.5 million machines per year which are sold through an efficient network of 1500 distribution partners across the country. Avon not only dominated the domestic market, but went global by launching exports to Afghanistan in 1965 and has since had a strong market presence in parts of Europe, Africa and Sri Lanka.
With the investment of INR 100 crore, Avon Cycles is in the process of commissioning a fourth manufacturing unit at Neelon near Ludhiana which would increase the current capacity of 10,000 cycles per day by an additional 5,000 cycles per day. This plant would be one of a kind, state of the art, which will focus on meeting the demands of mass production of premium and high end cycles, providing quality and quantity to today’s consumer. .
Sustainable, conscious and user-friendly solutions
Avon Cycles has always maintained its strongest pillars, innovation and sustainability. In 2017, this spirit drove them to set up wind and solar projects in the states of Bihar, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Punjab with a total installed capacity of 45 MW.
The world of Avon Cycles has branched out and also taken a step forward with the pledge of sustainability with the launch of the E World of Avon in 2007. These electric vehicles are sold through 300 exclusive dealerships across the country .
Taking their product portfolio to new heights, they marked their presence in the world of fitness equipment by launching approximately 400 products in the fitness and sports category in 2015, available in more than 300 outlets, including 100 exclusive stores.
Philanthropy, giving back to society
This belief led Avon Cycles to establish the Kaushalya Devi Pahwa Trust, which operates two charity hospitals in Ludhiana. These hospitals work diligently to provide free and accessible health care to the economically weaker sections of society. The group is also committed to and contributes to the education and development of the personality of people with physical disabilities. They also established hostels and homes for women and orphans. They also take human responsibility for animal welfare.
Ready for the future
With growing purchasing power, a willingness to adapt, strong internal demand, India is still a lucrative demand destination. Government policies such as Make in India and Vocal for Local have instilled confidence in the minds of local manufacturers and Indian consumers.
Avon Cycles, with its strong roots, financial agility, industrial strength and future orientation, is well prepared to emerge as a significant contributor to India’s growth. Their strong footprint in the rural and urban mobility space and their willingness to adapt to electric solutions or branch out into the fitness and wellness space are well recognized and appreciated by the high class of Indian consumers. .
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Onkar Singh Pahwa, CMD (Center) Rishi Pahwa, Jt. Managing Director (left) Mandeep Pahwa, Executive Director (right)