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Avon Cycles: This is how Ludhiana-based brand grew to become a household name!

From a simple idea to provide mobility to Indians after independence to making it a big empire, this is how Avon Cycles grew with time to be one of the topmost players in the cycle industry.

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Credits: Avon Cycles

Leaving behind the trail of stories is the Avon Cycles paddling with time. Starting at a time when it had only been a few years since the country became independent, the brand considered opportunities to convert them into a successful venture, especially, at a time when India's economic condition and the business landscape were a grappling situation.

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Image Courtesy: EvansClarke

One of the prominent names in cycle manufacturing in India, this brand deals with various product lines including MTB (Single Speed), MTB (Geared), cycles for ladies, kids, Electric Cycles, Fat Bikes, and more. Based in Ludhiana, in the northern state of Punjab, the manufacturing unit has a production capacity of over 10,000 bicycles per day. But how did this brand become a giant in the industry? Well, the story goes back to 1947!

From Ludhiana to abroad!

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Image Courtesy: Avon Cycles 

In the post-independence phase, the Pahwa brothers envisioned providing affordable mobility to Indians, which led them to conceive the idea of manufacturing cycles. The Punjabi brothers initially established a bicycle saddles and brakes manufacturing unit around 1948, marking the inception of the company. In 1952, Hansraj Pahwa, Sohanlal Pahwa, and Jagat Singh Pahwa commenced operations.

According to their company's website, the brothers maintained an economical price point of Rs. 100 per cycle, coupled with ethical practices. This, along with a commitment to quality, fostered customer acceptance and trust. Over time, both manufacturing output and customer base steadily increased, solidifying Avon's position as one of the industry's leading players.

In 1965, the company expanded its operations to Afghanistan and Iran, propelled by factors such as high-class technology, consistent quality, and effective after-sales service.

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Image Courtesy: Times of India

In the company years, various brands offering the important components to build a cycle opened in India that helped Avon survive. However, Avon also came up with its own manufacturing of these components. In 1974, the brand set up spaces to build raw materials like special-purpose steel strips and steel tubes, even Hot Rolled Steel, and more. The next year, the brand got the ISI certification for its operations. The 80s changed the brand's image as it turned out to be offering modern facilities by introducing the first innovative bicycle like BMX.

Back in 1997, this family business was reorganised as the Control of the company Avon Cycles Limited along with the subject of this profile got passed on to the family of Onkar Singh Pahwa. While the former authority boasts of trust, the latter took pride in its corporate functioning. However, the marketing strategy for the company remained the same. They include a concise focus on the wide choice, updated quality, affordable price, streamlined distribution, and an appealing message.

The brand also went for a healthcare vertical by opening Mata Kaushyalya Devi Pahwa Charitable Hospital in Ludhiana in 2000.

The Current Picture 

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Image Courtesy: Times of India 

Avon Cycles has a head officer and two manufacturing units in Ludhiana, which is also considered the industrial city in Punjab. The brand is also planning for a new plant at Neelon, near Ludhiana. Along with the existing resources, this plant will manufacture aluminum frames, steel frames, and complete bicycles. The new plant also plans to manufacture 5000 bicycles per day.

The brand also has escalated its footprint to other areas like Hajipur in Bihar to also cater to the Eastern markets. The units have also invested heavily in the human capital. Recently, in 2021, the brand became the third-largest player in the domestic market for bicycles. Currently, Omkar Singh Pahwa handles the major operations as a CMD of the company while his family members like Rishi Pahwa the Jt. Managing Director and Mandeep Pahwa is the Executive Director. According to The Week, Avon Cycles has an estimated market share of about 15% with the sales figure being INR 709 Crores in 2020-21.

All in all, the one leading factor that kept the brand growing and even expanding with time was its ability to adapt to market changes. Keeping that as a focus, the brand launched e-bikes last year gaining them a fresh beam of limelight with their approach to sustainability.

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