Interview with B. Govindarajan, CEO, Royal Enfield

We crown the Top-10 vehicles of the year, and they’re as impressive as they are colourful! Trophies were handed out, and some tough questions were lobbed. The Hunter 350 is one of our Best of 2022 and accepting the award for it is B. Govindarajan, CEO, Royal Enfield.

By autoX Editorial | on December 21, 2022 Follow us on Autox Google News

The Hunter is the most un-RE motorcycle we’ve tested. What was the strategy behind producing a sporty roadster and entering a segment that’s never been your forte?

A lot of consumers wanted the brand Royal Enfield, but they wanted it in a different format – a motorcycle that’s a little lighter, more nimble and agile. In an urban context, we were looking at a street motorcycle. So, as a team, since we’re all riders and enjoy riding, we felt that the Hunter is the motorcycle to bring into the market – and it’s already an outstanding success for us.

The Hunter’s pricing makes it a tempting prospect. Is it cannibalizing the sales of the relatively more expensive Classic and Meteor?

As of now, there’s no cannibalization. Our Classic consumers are looking for motorcycles that have an upright riding position – they enjoy a particular style of motorcycle. With the Hunter, they’re looking at a motorcycle that’s stylish, youthful and lighter compared to the Classic. So, a younger audience – between 19 to 24 years of age – prefers the Hunter. The positioning of the Hunter is very clear. It’s a motorcycle that’s compact – tightly packaged – so it’s convenient, light, and easy to manoeuvre in any urban setting or high-traffic conditions. The Hunter is actually getting us a new set of consumers in a younger age group.

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 AutoX Best Of 2022

Mr Yadvinder Guleria, Chief Commercial Officer, Royal Enfield, accepted the ‘Best of 2022’ award for the Hunter 350.

Can we expect more sporty motorcycles from Royal Enfield?

Royal Enfield, today, has three different platforms. We have our Twin 650cc platform, in which we made our Continental GT and Interceptor first. Then we have our Himalayan platform, which is the 410cc engine, and then we have the J series, which comprises the Hunter, Classic and Meteor. Whenever we come out with a new platform, we do so with full focus. On the Twin platform, we brought out the Continental GT and Interceptor 650, and now we’re looking at the Super Meteor 650. On the Himalayan platform, we had the Himalayan and then the Scram. And with the J Series, which is super refined, we came out with the Meteor, then the Classic, and now the Hunter. So, we always look at what sort of an experience we can give to the consumer. We actually listen to the community, we ride along with the community, and, when we’re riding, we actually pick up what sort of an experience they’re looking for. So, yes, we will continue to develop new variants on our respective platforms.

We just saw the Super Meteor at EICMA, and it’s about to be launched here. What are your expectations from it?

Till we launched the Twin platform, we were a single platform company. So, this was an opportunity for us to look at where we’re headed. We are an organization that has been looking at what are we and what we want to become. We are a long-term aggressive and ambitious company. We don’t look at anything short-term. For us to be a global premium consumer brand from India, we were very clear that the Twin platform had to be world-class, and it had to render what is required by a global audience. So, when we were conceiving the platform, we were always looking at a café racer, a roadster and a cruiser. We have a long history of cruisers – from the Thunderbird to the Meteor. And we launched the Super Meteor 650 at EICMA, it got an outstanding reception. Everyone who saw the motorcycle really went ‘wow!’ We’ll be launching it very soon, globally, and in India. Needless to say, it’s going to get us a new set of buyers – those who always wanted to go cruising, but haven’t gone for it yet, the Super Meteor will invite them to finally do so.

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 AutoX Best Of 2022 Trophy

'We are a long-term aggressive & ambitious company. We don’t look at anything short-term'

We know that RE is working on an all-new Himalayan. Can you give a sneak peek into what will be on offer and how soon it’s likely to hit the market?

Well, when we launched the Himalayan, we thought adventure tourers as a category would grow slowly. Because our motorcycles, like the Classic 500, have been used in the Himalayas for many, many years, the Himalayas are a spiritual home for us, so we wanted a motorcycle that really relates to the terrain. When we were riding in the Himalayas along with consumers, we found out that there needs to be a vehicle that is purpose-built for that particular terrain. But, to our surprise, there was a huge reception for the Himalayan even in the international market. Very recently, Siddharth and I were riding in the Himalayas and thinking about what best we can do with the new version and what kind of an experience we can give to the consumer. So, there is always a constant search for the experience we can provide. Soon, you’ll see how things have progressed.

Read more:

Interview with Adrian Sellers (Lead, Custom Programme) & Vaibhav Nijhowne (Manager, Motorsports) – Royal Enfield 

Interview with Siddhartha Lal, CEO, Royal Enfield

Tags: Royal Enfield Royal Enfield Hunter 350 autoX Awards 2022 Best of 2022

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