Ex Royal Enfield CEO launches consumer intelligence portal, Choosemybike
R L Ravichandran's journey in the two wheeler industry began in 1990 when he joined TVS Suzuki as their Head of Sales & Marketing for 2-Wheelers. In 1998, he moved on to work with Bajaj Auto as their VP of BD and Marketing before moving on to becoming the CEO of Royal Enfield in 2005. He has played a key role in the two wheeler industry and has had experience with both scooters as well as bikes. In a span of over 5 years, Ravichandran played a key role in turning around Royal Enfield and making it again the brand that it is today.
Since then, Ravichandran been on board a few other motor companies and has also been laying the groundwork for an online venture, Mind in Motion whose first product is Choosemybike. While Ravichandran is the chairman and mentor, the execution for the portal is being taken care by I K Rohit who is a Masters in Economics and an MBA in marketing. Along with a team of analysts and data scientists, Choosmybike is an online portal to help consumers research for two wheelers online before deciding to buy offline. The portal is based along the theme of ROPO- Research online, Purchase offline. Rohit quotes studies that have shown that close to 80% of the consumers in developed markets now research online, compare prices and finance options before making a purchase decision. And this is where Choosemybike comes in.
India is an evolved two wheeler market in the world with around 19 internationally known brands with 185 SKUs sold through over 3,500 dealership points. Research for a huge chunk of these products sold happens online and if studied, the data can reveal a lot. "We feel there is a need to understand the consumer’s thoughts and preferences for a choosing a product, without influencing the selection process of the consumers in any way," says Rohit. Behind the scenes, "Mind in Motion” is a big data analysis firm which has tried to capture the search and behavioral patterns of consumers currently within the two-wheeler segment. This data was pulled and analyzed by different segments of bikes using their proprietary data analytics tool.
The firm was bootstrapped for 18 months before raising an angel round from three HNIs from the auto industry. The company has come out with its first comprehensive report which presents research that was done over 12 months with over 6,00,000 online sample respondents from across the country, for two wheelers. The online sample respondents were from 32 Tier - 1, Tier - 2 and Tier - 3 towns across India.
The tool claims to have the ability to predict the most preferred attributes a two-wheeler should deliver in the category it belongs to (Ideal product preference). The business model revolves around selling consumer trend research and reports along with services to two wheeler brands, ancillary manufacturers, insurance industry, etc. The biggest strength of the company lies in the contacts and clout that Ravichandran will bring to the table. Post that it'll depend on the quality it can provide. The larger vision also involves expanding into passenger vehicles, education and healthcare.
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