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We Will Supply ATVs To CRPF, NDRF, ITBP, Army: Polaris India

Pankaj Dubey is the Managing Director of Polaris India since its inception in January 2011 and is also now the CEO and Director, Eicher Polaris Private Ltd. He revealed that Polaris is now going extra mile by supplying to various defence and security establishments

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Polaris India Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Polaris Industries Inc (US), launched its flagship products including ATVs, Polaris Ranger RZR, Side x Side vehicles and snowmobiles in India on 24 August 2011. Pankaj Dubey is the Managing Director of Polaris India since its inception in January 2011 and is also now the CEO and Director, Eicher Polaris Private Ltd. He revealed that Polaris is now going extra mile by supplying to various defence and security establishments.

Edited excerpts:

How has the journey been for Polaris since it got established in India? Are you satisfied with the numbers garnered until now or is there is a scope for more improvement?
It is my seventh year at Polaris and the journey has been really fantastic for me. It was very exciting to create an identity for a brand name which was known more in the IT space than in ATVs. Over the last few years, the ATVs have done really well by penetrating various parts of the country to serve various enthusiastic individuals who knows our brand.

We have established Polaris Experience Zones wherein people can come and have a joyride with our vehicles. Above all, the biggest satisfaction has come by supplying our products (ATVs and snowmobiles) to government and security agencies, forest and tourism department, paramilitary and police forces, etc., in the country.

We have also supplied our vehicles during calamities like Uttrakhand cloudbursts, Kashmir floods, Earthquake in Nepal, etc. It gives a lot of satisfaction to us that we have contributed something which is for the betterment of the society. We also started selling Indian-branded luxury motorcycles (under Polaris umbrella globally) to elite class of customers who are not only passionate bikers but are also very successful individuals in their profession. Then of course, Eicher Polaris JV to develop Multix smart vehicles has also been another milestone for us.

We made every effort from our side to lay a solid foundation to do well in all segments of vehicles. Although we have supplied our products across the length and breadth of the country, we are expecting some phenomenal growth in the future.

So, does that encourage you to supply your products to other institutions?
Certainly, we are geared up to supply our ATVs to various defense and security establishments such as CRPF, NDRF, ITBP, Army, etc.

Are these ATVs customized for the Indian market considering the peculiarities of the Indian market?
It depends on the customers’ requirements which have been posed by certain security agencies where they wanted some medications to be made or some accessories to be added or some compatibility to be done. For example, they may want to use some surveillance equipment or electrical points or even gun mounts in the vehicle.

Considering the Indian climatic conditions, we also offer softop covers, doors and other accessories on demand.

Do you have any plans to manufacture your ATVs and luxury bikes in the country?
The current business size for ATVs here does not qualify for us to make in India. As and when the market grows, we will think about building our products in the country. As of now, we will stick to the CBU route and will be bringing our products from the US. We will initially go for assembly of bikes followed by ATVs.

Are you considering bringing in expanding your product lines with new products or variants? If yes, will they be tailormade for the Indian market?
Today, our Sportsman, RZR and Ranger are already doing well in the market. Our parent company has taken over Chinese player ‘Hammerhead’ which has a facility in their home country. We are introduced the product portfolio from that range in India. We are working on one of the products from the global range and are studying its feasibility. But for any OEM like us, a basic foundation of manufacturing operations is must for developing country-specific products. So these thoughts have not been incubated in our minds.

Apart from economic reforms what else needs to be done that will give a fillip to the automotive industry?
What I feeling is apart from giving a major thrust on large scale manufacturing, an equal emphasis should be made to foster small independent businessmen. Small business houses are the need of the hour apart from other initiatives like encouraging Start-Ups. Some business-friendly platforms like easier finance options or some government support would go a long way in helping these small outfits to flourish. This could open up additional avenues of job opportunities for those who are underemployed or unemployed.

Lastly, what is your vision for the company?
My vision is to grow at a high pace for both the companies (Polaris India and Eicher Polaris) in the country apart from serving our customers to the best of our abilities. We will grow at a CAGR of 20 per cent over the next 5-10 years.

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