TVS success story: When you think about motorbikes in India, what brands pop into your head? TVS, Hero, Royal Enfield, and Honda, right? Well, there’s a fascinating tale among them, and it’s TVS that stands out the most. Why? Because TVS wasn’t always in the motorbike game. In fact, they began their journey specializing in trucks and buses!
Surprising, isn’t it? TVS was all about heavy-duty wheels until the late ’80s. But then, something changed. They decided to dip their toes into the world of two-wheelers, and once they did, there was no turning back.
So, welcome everyone, and join us as we take you on a thrilling ride through TVS’s transformation from a truck and bus expert to one of India’s leading motorbike manufacturers. We’ll delve into their innovative journey, the challenges they faced, and how they became a household name in the realm of two-wheelers.
TVS success story: The humble beginnings!
The TVS success story is all about a man with a dream – T V Sundaram Iyengar. He’s the reason TVS is even called TVS. Way back in 1911, he didn’t settle for small stuff like running buses or fixing vehicles. No, he aimed for the stars. See, he had this big idea. He wanted to create a big family of folks who were all about top-notch quality and standards. And guess what? He didn’t just dream; he did it.
His smart ideas, hard work, and never-give-up attitude laid the foundation for something massive: the ‘TV Sundram Iyengar and Sons Group of Companies.’ Yep, it’s one of India’s gigantic groups of industries. They didn’t just stick to one thing. They spread their wings into all sorts of stuff, including dealership in foreign automobiles to making trucks and administering bus services! By 1940s, TVS was already a flourishing transport enterprise!
Now, T.V. Sundaram and the folks who followed him had this picture in their heads. They wanted a ride that could take two people up the Tirupati hills in Andhra Pradesh without breaking the bank. And that’s how they came up with the idea of making mopeds.
A late but planned entry in the two-wheeler market
TVS made a grand entrance into the automotive world, but it was a bit fashionably late to the party. By the time TVS revved up its engines, Hero Cycles had already taken a spin in the motorcycle arena. And not just Hero; Suzuki and Honda were lurking in the shadows, waiting for India to throw open its doors to the world.
Now, let’s rewind a bit to the 1980s. That’s when TVS had a brilliant idea—they launched mopeds. These little machines were aimed at conquering the Indian market, especially in the rural areas. It was a smart move, but the glory was short-lived.
TVS motorcycles faced fierce competition from Hero Honda (a mix of Honda from Japan and Hero from India), Kawasaki Bajaj (a blend of Kawasaki Heavy Industries from Japan and Bajaj Auto from India), and Escorts Yamaha (a mashup of Yamaha Corporation from Japan and Escorts Group from India). It was like a motorbike showdown!
The tough times hit TVS hard. In fact, things got so tough that they had to shut down their factory in 1990. But sometimes, tough times are like a wake-up call, a chance to rethink and rebuild.
TVS did just that. They decided to put their products front and center. They worked hard on making quality stuff, poured their hearts into research and development, and fine-tuned their production game. They also tightened their belts by cutting costs, trimming the workforce, and keeping inventory in check.
Guess what? It paid off big time! In 1992–93, TVS rolled out five new products, including the Samurai, Shogun, Max 100, and Max 100R. In 1994, they introduced the TVS Scooty, a nifty little scooter. They didn’t forget their moped game either; they came up with the Super Champs model.
While moped sales were dwindling elsewhere, TVS was on the rise. In just five years, they became a major player in India’s two-wheeler scene. By 1994, their market share in the 100cc segment had shot up from 12 to 20 percent. And in 1995, TVS-Suzuki’s turnover hit Rs 620 crore, making them India’s second-largest two-wheeler company.
But as they say, all good things come to an end. The TVS and Suzuki partnership hit a fork in the road. In 2001, they parted ways, and TVS had to give up the Suzuki name. There was even a 30-month timeout where Suzuki promised not to enter India with competing two-wheelers.
Success story: Why TVS is the true symbol of “Make in India”
Today, when you hear the name TVS, it’s not just a brand; it’s a symbol of excellence in the automobile world. They’ve crafted a reputation as India’s largest automotive component manufacturer. In fact, they hold a prestigious title – the Deming Prize. And guess what? The first four Indian companies to win this coveted prize are all part of the TVS Group.
By 2016, and you’d see the TVS Group soaring high with a staggering revenue of over Rs 50,000 crore. That’s like a mountain of money! And they didn’t do it alone; they had an army of over 40,000 employees working all over the globe.
But TVS doesn’t just shine within India’s borders; it’s a true ambassador of “Make in India” on the global stage. They make our country proud, and they’re not ready to stop. In 2016, TVS started production of BMW bikes and since then the company has produced 79,088 units, of which 73,183 units were exported and 5,905 units were sold in India.
In the current financial year, TVS Motor has big plans. They’re ready to invest a whopping Rs 1,800 crore. About half of that, Rs 900-1,000 crore, will go into capex (that’s fancy talk for building stuff), and the rest, around Rs 800 crore, will be for other cool investments.
Africa is also catching the TVS fever. Sales of TVS bikes there have skyrocketed. Countries like Guinea, Kenya, and Nigeria are all in on the action. TVS is growing at a mind-boggling rate of 35 percent every year. And here’s the kicker: they’re not just selling bikes; they’re doing it with a twist. They’re using hybrid dealerships. Some bikes are brought straight from India, while others are assembled locally. It’s like a bike bonanza, and India is gaining at the expense of China in Africa!
It all boils down to one thing: TVS’s love for quality. They’re always ready to make things better, adapt to changes, and conquer challenges. It’s not just about making bikes; it’s about making the best bikes. So, the TVS success story isn’t just about bikes; it’s about a journey filled with determination, expansion, and a commitment to excellence. And as they rev up for the future, they’re proving that the road ahead is full of exciting possibilities.
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