How do you take the road less travelled? The NH4 Motorheads story
Last year, when Debraj Banerjee was on one of his many bike trips on National Highway 4 with his friend-cum-business partner Gautam Kalburgi, he knew what to name his venture -- NH4 Motorheads.
Started in June 2013 by Debraj and Gautam, NH4 Motorheads is an adventure sports plus e-commerce startup. Debraj says, “Our startup is a one-stop platform for all adventure and travel enthusiasts from India and abroad.”
“Besides being an adventure touring, adventure gears, 4x4 Extreme, adventure sports and automobile event management company, our e-commerce platform www.nh4motorheads.com differentiates not only in the curated products we offer but also the customization which we handle for our customers,’’ adds Debraj. NH4 Motorheads has also created its own private label of NH4 custom products.
According to ATOAI (Adventure Tour Operators Association), domestic adventure tourism in India is seeing an annual growth of about 30 per cent while inbound adventure tourism to India is increasing by up to eight to 10 per cent annually. Unofficial figures say that we have over one million adventure tourists in India every year. “In many of our road trips we found that there was a need to address this market, many adventure enthusiasts were looking for a place that could meet their requirements,” adds Debraj.
The startup has gone full throttle in its drive to cater to this market. Besides the online store, they have physical stores in Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata.
Hailing from Shillong, Debraj’s first love was biking. Even while he was working with IBM and Deutsche Bank in Bangalore, he had started a motorcycle club called 'Royal Knights' in 2006.
Debraj says, “I have organized trips to Himalayas, South India etc. and was hands-on involved in customizing the merchandise for our club over these years. And the natural question we asked ourselves, why not do the same thing for people outside our club. That was it; we knew everything was leading to the birth of NH4 Motorheads.”
In a short span of time, the startup has made inroads into the lives of many adventure enthusiasts in the country with a steady demand building up for their e-commerce store. While many big players are contemplating of jumping into the space, what keeps Debraj optimistic about his venture is the level of detailing that they do. “We not only curate the best products but also make an immense effort in customizing it to the special needs of our customers.”
On the road
A 15-member team, NH4 Motorheads seems to be on a fast lane of growth. New physical stores are coming up in Pune, Mumbai and Delhi soon. Taco Bell has come on-board as a venue partner for all the adventure meetups the company plans to do.
Customers over the coming months will experience some of the trips organized by NH4 Motorheads like Bangalore Vintage Group's - Automobile Event, Motorcycle Trips to Europe, Cambodia and Himalayas, Camping Trips, 4x4 Extreme to Himalayas, Triathlon, Marathon, Cycle Expeditions and other adventure sports.
“We are already designing more travel and adventure products apart from what you see on our web portal and those will be launched shortly,” says Debraj, adding, “Moreover, we are also looking to tie-up with companies from India and abroad who are into manufacturing of adventure and travel gears.”
What gives NH4 Motorheads an edge in the market? Our view –
• A large and growing addressable market• Adventure sports and adventure sports e-commerce both involve deep expertise; the founding team comes with the required domain expertise.
• Bootstrapped and not dependent on external money currently to build the business.
• Manufacturing, private labelling of adventure sports and touring products.
“What keeps me on the road and excited in this journey is the joy of being able to impact so many people across the country and do it in such a fun manner,” says Debraj.
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