As Ridley Bikes makes its foray into the Indian market through it's partnership with TI Cycles, Choosemybicycle.com had an opportunity to interview the founder and CEO of Ridley Bikes Mr.Joachim Aerts. Below is the transcript of the interview.
1. Is there a specific reason why Ridley has decided to enter the Indian market now in 2016?
I visited India few years back to study the Indian cycling market and had an opportunity to start talks with TI Cycles about a possible integration. Last year in August, we signed the partnership agreement with TI. So, the launch of Ridley now in 2016 has seen a lot of work behind the scenes for the past few years. We at Ridley believe that any partnership as big as this is always to be considered a life time agreement and hence we had to take our time to plan accordingly and make ourselves fully capable of entering the Indian market.
2. Since Ridley Bikes will be lined up against other high-end bicycle brands like Cannondale, GT, Schwinn, Mongoose and Bianchi who have all partnered with TI, How do you think this will help or affect the sale of Ridley Bikes in India?
This in no way will affect Ridley's sales as I believe that competition is always good. Any customer who comes into a store to buy a bicycle should not feel restricted by the options provided. Hence, having multiple brands at the same place improves the buying experience of the customer.
3. Service is a big factor for high-end performance bicycles in India. Is there anything Ridley will be doing to improve this?
A good service can make or break a cycling experience. Ridley will be looking at a possibility of having over some senior bicycle mechanics from India to be trained in our facility by our expert bicycle mechanics and builders. Other than that we will also be constantly sharing knowledge on the latest developments and technology with TI so as to get across all the information needed for the bicycle mechanics to serve our Ridley riders in India.
4. How important is it for bicycle brands to invest in sponsoring Pro-Teams to get brand recognition?
Ridley has been having a team in the Cyclocross and Tour de France since the inception of these historical cycling race events. It is integral for us to have our bicycles to be used by best in the sport of cycling as we get constant feedback from the riders and their expert mechanics. It not only helps us get better at bike building but also from a customer stand point there is a sense of trust which is built around the bicycle's performance.
5. How much value does it add for a bicycle brand to make women specific variants of it's bicycles and where does Ridley stand in this?
Making gender specific bicycles are very important to deliver optimum performance for our women riders. The women's professional cycling scene in Europe is right now bigger than ever and is constantly getting bigger in competition to the Men's categories. Ridley have been making women specific bicycles and believes that the specific needs of women riders should be catered to by building a bicycle with a female anatomy in mind.
6. Like any other consumer product, bicycles have also started to slowly enter the E-commerce world. What is your stand on buying a bicycle on the internet?
E-commerce is taking over our daily lives and in Europe bicycles have started becoming a regular feature on online shopping websites. But personally, I wouldn't leave my experience of buying a bicycle to completely being online. Rather than the bicycle getting delivered to my door step directly from the manufacturer in it's original packaging, I would prefer my bicycle to come through a local bicycle store where it can be semi-assembled. Also more importantly, test riding a bicycle is crucial to the buying experience and hence a visit to a bicycle store could be unavoidable even while buying a bicycle online.
We would like thank Mr.Joachim Aerts for taking the time out and giving us an opportunity for this interview and we wish Ridley Bikes all the success in India. To know more about the Ridley Bikes launch in India click this -Ridley Bicycles Hits The Indian Market