"Our aim is to make racing gear available to our community based demand in the near future," says Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Chief Commercial Officer, Royal Enfield
In the interview, Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Chief Commercial Officer of Royal Enfield, discusses Royal Enfield's commitment to promoting riding gear, sustainability, and collaborations. He expressed the brand's intent to expand their riding gear range while keeping safety and functionality as top priorities, all while ensuring gear complements the design of their motorcycles. Yadvinder also stressed the importance of helmet adoption in India and their willingness to collaborate with renowned helmet brands. He also said that Royal Enfield is considering the development of racing gear and an expanded apparel range, making safety and style accessible to a broader audience and tailoring gear to specific motorcycle segments, like off-road riding gear for the forthcoming Himalayan 452.
As told to Team evo India
Team evo India: What is Royal Enfield doing to increase the adoption of protective riding gear amongst its vast community?
Yadvinder Singh Guleria: Royal Enfield is committed to promoting responsible riding practices and enhancing the riding experience. We offer a diverse range of riding gear suitable for various terrains and weather conditions providing riders with both safety and comfort which in turn should propel the category growth.
The brand has been on the forefront of revolutionising riding gear in India by being the first brand to have their entire range of CE certified riding gear, and collaborating with global riding gear giants.
Team evo India: The new Streetwind Eco jacket is a really nice initiative. Is it a one-off thing or can we expect it to spawn a new series of riding gear that is light and environmentally sustainable?
Yadvinder Singh Guleria: At the core of Royal Enfield’s ethos is our commitment to leave every place better. This approach to responsible discovery is deeply ingrained in every part of our business, which includes everything from the apparel we create and the vendors we work with to our manufacturing process and collaborations. Also, we are now a member of the Better Cotton program which aligns seamlessly with Royal Enfield’s vision of sustainability. We currently source 80% of our cotton requirements through Better Cotton and are committed to scale this up further. Our goal is to develop a riding gear portfolio that caters to riders regardless of terrain, weather conditions, or destinations while also charting the way towards sustainability.
Team evo India: Do you feel that it is important for the development of bespoke riding gear to happen alongside a new motorcycle? For example the Himalayan 452?
Yadvinder Singh Guleria: Bespoke riding gear is definitely more popular among younger riders, who enjoy the visual cohesiveness between the design of their motorcycle and gear. The appeal of bespoke riding gear is that it allows one to truly connect with their motorcycle, in terms of design and terrain specificity. This synchronisation often allows brands to showcase their identities and foster loyalty. For instance, riders frequently seek to showcase their love for the brand and when their riding gear perfectly complements their motorcycle, it reinforces this profound sense of connection. However, as a brand, our priority is to priotose both design and safety with a strong emphasis on functionality, when crafting bespoke motorcycle gear.
Team evo India: The partnerships with brands like TCX, Levi’s and Alpinestars, are these one-offs? Or can we expect to see new and updated products come from these collaborations on a regular basis?
Yadvinder Singh Guleria: We believe that collaborations across like-minded brands more than intrigue our community. When they see two of their favourite brands coming together to create something exciting, it definitely strikes a cord.
Our collaborations with various brands have all been fruitful, to say the least, and appreciated by the community. This is a very exciting space for us and the community and we will continue to explore collaborations with brands that share a common ethos with Royal Enfield.
Team evo India: What other brands can we expect collaborations from in the future?
Yadvinder Singh Guleria: Cross-brand collaborations tend to be a time sensitive process, given the two brands with different languages to be merged and create something that is relevant and keeps the brand language intact, However, yes, we do have a couple of exciting collaborations underway for our apparel line - so stay tuned. Irrespective of the brand or collaboration, our intent remains clear, to deepen our engagement with the community, whether it's riders or non-riders, our hope with every collaboration or initiative is for it to be a memorable brand touchpoint.
Team evo India: What’s your take on the helmet situation in India?
Yadvinder Singh Guleria: While laws and regulations exist, there is a lot more to be done in India, to increase the adoption of helmets as a practice. Through initiatives and campaigns like ‘Where’s The Helmet’ we remain dedicated to promoting helmet adoption and road safety among riders. Additionally, to make helmets more aspirational for the youth, we try to keep the graphics more lively that can make an instant connection with the customers. With all this, we still feel that there is a gap that still needs to be addressed and we are making efforts to make the helmets a way of life.
Team evo India: Can we expect any collaboration with prominent helmet brands (Bell, AGV, Arai, Scorpion etc.) to make quality helmets available to the riders in India?
Yadvinder Singh Guleria: We've established successful partnerships with renowned brands in the past, and our dedication to delivering quality products will persist. When it comes to gear that is paramount to responsible riding, our primary focus remains rooted in catering to every rider and terrain with an unwavering commitment to safety. We have a range of full-face and open helmets which are designed for the rider's utmost safety. The range offers superior protection with classic designs and long-lasting comfort. They are strong, sturdy, durable and available with ECE and DOT certifications.
Team evo India: Considering that you are now on the third successive season of the Continental GT Cup, a road racing series, do you plan to come up with a range of road/racing riding gear? — race boots, gloves, suits, etc.?
Yadvinder Singh Guleria: Our range of apparel focuses on providing our community with the best possible experience both on and off the saddle. The development of high-impact racing gear is an extension of that commitment, however the racing gear market is still relatively niche in India and our aim is to make racing gear available to our community based demand in the near future.
Team evo India: Your Levi’s riding denims have been quite successful. What’s your take on daily wear with provisions for armour pockets or anti-abrasive materials, things like shirts or hoodies? And do you feel like doing so will increase the adoption of riding gear?
Yadvinder Singh Guleria: Our current range of apparel like the riding denims, riding trousers etc are purposefully designed with features like armour slots for shoulder, elbow and knee, a 3D pocket with a hidden zipper, high visibility reflective tape and more to provide safety, style and the right aesthetic to young riders. And that’s not all, our apparel range aims to provide convenience to riders who may not want to change their clothing entirely when commuting on a motorcycle daily, simplifying the process of gearing up for a ride. Additionally, the versatility this apparel range offered helped riders who shy away from riding gears because of its bulkiness to prioritise safety without compromising on style and comfort.
Team evo India: What other riding gear can we expect in the future?
Yadvinder Singh Guleria: As Royal Enfield Apparel continues to solidify its presence, we intend to bring relevant offerings for motorcycling enthusiasts, with a focus on safety, comfort and style. Our direction revolves around four pivotal aspects. First, to ensure a series of enhancements to existing product lines, with a sharp emphasis on elevating both style and functionality while keeping sustainability at the forefront. This means not only improving the performance of our riding gear but also making conscious choices to reduce our environmental footprint. Second, we will broaden our current range, ensuring that both riders and non-riders are presented with a wider array of apparel choices keeping in mind varied terrains. Third, we will expand both the women’s range and the adventure segment with more touring-specific gear. Lastly, accessibility-led growth will ensure multi-channel availability of our range of apparel and riding gear for all riders and motorcycling enthusiasts.
Team evo India: With the upcoming Himalayan 452, can we expect a range of dedicated off-road riding gear?
Yadvinder Singh Guleria: Certainly, with every motorcycle launch, our primary aim is to curate and introduce a range that resonates with the design and terrain considerations. Our approach is deeply rooted in understanding the unique needs and preferences of our riders in that particular motorcycle segment, and this forms our product development process. We are committed to delivering offerings that are a piece of the lifestyle that the customer is buying into ensuring they have an exceptional riding experience tailored to their specific requirements.