Hero Cycles opens global design centre in Manchester

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Hero Cycles on Friday opened a global design centre in Manchester, UK, at an investment of 2 million pounds (about Rs 17 crore) to develop next generation bikes based on latest technology.

The company is working on increasing its revenue share from overseas markets from around 20 per cent currently to 60 per cent by 2018. It did not provide the revenue figures.

“As we focus on global expansion plans, we need to harness global talent and have a design centre that is located closer to some of our targeted markets,” Hero Cycles Chairman and Managing Director Pankaj Munjal said in a statement.

With major expansion plans in Europe, the Global Design Centre (GDC) will help the company produce technology and design to cater to differentiated products to suit the needs of different European markets, he added.

“Our strategy is two-fold: to develop British brands in the UK, build them and export them across the Europe, Africa and India and secondly, to increase the value of our Indian-based bike brands,” Munjal said.

The bikes designed at the GDC will be made at Hero’s plant in Sri Lanka and exported to Europe, Africa and India.

The GDC aims to rationalise the company’s design functions, bringing together in one place its design, product development, innovation and market research departments.

It will employ 25 designers and marketers from across Europe. The team will work across several cycle segments including mountain bikes, road bikes and electric bikes.

In August 2015, Hero had acquired a majority stake in Avocet Sports, a Manchester-based bike and accessories distributor.

Avocet, which designs and develops bike brands for independent bike dealer market, including mountain bikes, kids and ladies bikes, electric bikes and tandems, will also benefit from the GDC.