Royal Enfield: Book tells story behind making of Indian biking giant

Last Updated 30 November 2020, 10:09 IST

A new book maps the trail-blazing story of the brand, the company, and most of all, the individuals who have made Royal Enfield what it is now -- a premium homegrown consumer brand for the global markets.

The book, "Indian Icon: A Cult Called Royal Enfield", is written by journalist Amrit Raj. Besides spilling the beans on the "behind-the-scenes takeover dramas" and the "bare-knuckled battle" to create the iconic brand, it is also the story of the clash of the old guard with the new leading to dramatic changes in the business.

"Few brands inspire the kind of devotion that an Enfield does. Its distinctive look and feel, the sound of its engine, and the image that it creates of its rider have all contributed to putting the brand on the kind of pedestal that others could only dream of. The book takes you to the heart of the Royal Enfield story," said Raj.

From the beginning of the brand's journey in India in the early 1950s, the Enfield bikes have had quite a ride. Initial success and acceptance notwithstanding, by the 1980s, the brand was considered an underachiever and a basket case.

Come 1990, Vikram Lal of Eicher took over the brand and gave it a whole new lease of life 1990. Later, his son Siddhartha brought marketing and product together and catapulted the bike to iconic status.

Today, Enfield has come to epitomise successful business turnarounds.

Touted to be "deeply researched and expertly narrated", the book, according to publishing house Westland, is a worthy addition to the shelf of both business readers as well as Royal Enfield aficionados.

It also got high praise from who's who of the auto industry including Sunil Kant Munjal and R C Bhargava, chairman of Hero Enterprise and Maruti Suzuki, respectively.

While Munjal said no chapter on India's motorcycle and scooter industry would be complete without a "meaningful documentation" of the Royal Enfield, Bhargava described the book as a "fascinating story" of the transformation of a brand.

"It is a great Indian example of entrepreneurship, grit, passion, and resilience," said Bhargava.

The 301-page book, priced at Rs 699, is currently available for sale on online and offline stores.

(Published 30 November 2020, 10:09 IST)

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