"I thought of that while riding my bicycle."
-Albert Einstein on the Theory of Relativity
In this current day and age of fast food, fast cars, smartphones and smart watches one of the few aspects that we are not smart about are our health and fitness levels.
In our quest for world domination, most of us either do not put health and fitness on our daily ‘To Do’ list or give it the lowest priority.
I met Jaymin Shah, Country Manager of SCOTT Sports India, and got some insights and tips about what it takes to stay in the pink of health and also about a new fleet of bikes that SCOTT India launched recently.
About SCOTT Sports
SCOTT Sports SA (formerly SCOTT USA), a Swiss company, is a producer of bikes, winter equipment, motorsports gear and sportswear. In the top 3 brands in the world right now, SCOTT is present across almost all products categories.
SCOTT Sports India is a subsidiary of the brand. Started out in India in 2011, they just completed a successful product launch of their 2015 range of bikes. Present across 60 dealers in the country, their main focus is on bikes which strike a chord with the Indian consumer.
The company has received good response from their customers, and holds the highest market share in this category of high-end bikes in India at present. No official numbers were currently available as no agency currently tracks this segment.
An interesting observation is that a lot of traction for their products is from Tier 1 cities considering percentage of population, but considering volume of products sold Metro cities took the lead.
SCOTT is the equipment partner for two teams at the Tour De France.
Here are some highlights from the conversation I had with Mr. Jaymin Shah.
Global campaign ‘No Shortcuts’
SCOTT Sports is currently promoting their ‘No Shortcuts’ campaign which is all about the emotion of riding. “When we talk about cutting edge technology, if we take shortcuts we are not going to deliver the best product in the market. If we do not have the best athletes riding or if we do not provide the best after sales service we are again taking shortcuts,” said Jaymin Shah.
It’s also about that emotion when a consumer buys into the SCOTT brand he or she is guaranteed to get the best product possible.
“We are not in a hurry to sell a million units in India, because if we do that we will have to cut corners.”
Fitness industry in India
“There is tremendous energy for cycling in India, and that’s the reason we see a lot of consumers who buy bikes just to keep fit.”
In cities like Bangalore which enjoys fantastic weather all round the year, people do not want to be in an air-conditioned environment running in a gym all the time.
Cycling as an activity provides an opportunity to head out into the open and spend time on the saddle alone or in a group. “We have also seen parents taking up cycling as they want to encourage their kids to take it up and lead an active lifestyle. In this day and age everybody is on their phone, laptops or gaming consoles and there is not much opportunity to play sports outdoors.” Lot of people also take bikes to work to beat the traffic. Even corporates are taking notice of their employees who bike to work, and are encouraging them to do so. Physical activity always leads to higher energy levels and more productivity.
“In the SCOTT India office we have showers so that if employees want to ride to work they have the option to take a shower and then start their day. "
Is it safe to cycle to work ?
“In our experience it is quite safe to ride to work. We have seen that motorists on the road show respect and give way to cyclists who are padded up and wear a helmet. But on the other hand, if one is not wearing protective gear then motorists sort of lose respect and assume that the cyclist is not very serious about what he is doing. So always wear protective gear.”
Impose strict rules and guidelines for safer roads
The government has proposed separate bike lanes and other safety measure, but these measures have not been implemented yet in most cities.
Pune has specific lanes for bikes, even the Bandra Kurla complex, the commercial hub of Mumbai, has lanes meant for bikes, but nine out of 10 times there is either a car parked there or is occupied by a hawker.
The simple solution could be to just barricade that lane off from motorists and prevent hawkers from setting up their stalls there.
How entrepreneurs could stay fit
As a country with various gastronomical delights, most Indians love eating and our nutrition requirements are way off, but it is very important to eat right.
“Eat whatever you want, but have an active and healthy lifestyle and pedal away all the excess calories that you consume on a daily basis.”
The 2015 Range of Bikes
SCOTT Sports India recently announced its 2015 cycling range of mountain, hybrid and road bikes in Bangalore.
Mountain Range: This range of bikes comprises of efficient and minimal weight bikes. Specifically designed for off road adventures, these bikes have custom butted super light tubing sturdy and wide-gauge traded tires, and is built with alloy 6061.
Hybrid Range: With emphasis on comfort and convenience for touring and transportation as well as easy access to carry things.
Road Bikes: These bikes are designed for endurance and comfort. They are lightweight, efficient and economical.
The 2015 collection consists of 12 mountain bikes, four hybrid and nine road bikes with the price tag ranging from Rs 25000 to 6 lakhs and upwards.
You can find more details on their website.
Advice to aspiring entrepreneurs
“If one is passionate about fitness and is leading a healthy lifestyle then go ahead and be a part of this industry, but if one is looking at just the profits and the commercial side of things then this may not be the best industry for you,” said Jaymin Shah on a parting note.
What drives this industry is the passion to promote cycling as a sport, and healthy lifestyle to really make a difference in the environment.
Do you have any tips or routines that you follow to stay fit? Do share them with us.
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- Land transport
- SCOTT Sports SA
- SCOTT India
- SCOTT Sports India
- Mountain biking
- Mountain bike
- Jaymin Shah
- winter equipment