Hero Cycles Uplifts Lifes, Brings Smiles To Rural India
New Delhi, July, 2016: Punia Paswan, 14, would trudge 8 kms (one way) to her village school every day in Kashichak , Bihar, carrying a heavy school bag. By the time she reached, she would be drained out, especially during summers. Exhausted, she would often doze off in class and get yelled at by the teacher. School was drudgery and she hated it.
Till her father got her a Hero Cycle, bought on a loan he obtained from a micro-financing firm. He is still paying the instalments, but is not complaining. For Punia is doing better in studies. The journey to school takes just her 20 minutes compared to an hour earlier, on foot. What is more, she is a happier child; she loves to hop on to her bike and run small errands for him like fetching veggies or to going to the post office.
Bachchan Pandit would sell biscuits and savouriesin his village in western Uttar Pradesh, moving from gali to galic rying out his wares stuffed in large tin box, he carried on his head. By the end of the day, Bachchan’s feet would swell up and his head would throb from the heavy load he carried around. This was his routine till someone told him that some officials Hero Cycles and a microfinance company were around to give out loans to help you buy a cycle. Bachchan rushed off, completed the formalities in a jiffy, and acquired a spanking new Hero Jet bicycle for himself. Life changed for him after that.
Today the repertoire of goods he sells is much larger, he covers not one but two villages on his newly acquired bicycle, makes more money and gets home much earlier. “I had always wanted a bike. I knew peddling my wares would be a lot easier with it, but where was the money to buy it? These guys who helped me purchase this bike have been such a saviour.Today, I can afford to take a weekly off and still make more money.
Earlier I would take a bus to town every Monday to buy my stock, now I cycle my way to town,” he says with an air of satisfaction. “The bike has eased a lot of our problem. Once a month, he takes me to my maika in the adjoining village on his bike. Even when the children fall ill, it is much easier taking them to the local doctor, earlier they had to be carried in the arm. This cycle is a boon for the family,” adds wife Savita with a smile.
Bachchan and Punia are not the only ones to have benefitted from Hero cycle’s scheme of partnering with microfinance institutions to provide cycles to people in rural India and make their life easier. Nearly 25000 families belonging to economically weak section, across variousstates, have been helped out in the last six months with finance to buy a bike to ease their day to day life.
Speaking of the company’s new initiative in rural areas, says Mr Pankaj Munjal chairman and Managing Director, Hero Cycles “We have tied up with various NBFC’s which provide loans people in rural sector. This segment has shown great potential and we are pleased to be doing our bit to make life easier for people.”
Hero Cycles started manufacturing cycles in 1956 and has established itself as a leading cycle manufacturer in the world. It has been working for social upliftment since long and is keen to serve the economically weaker sections.
“Cycles provide a zero cost means of transport and can also help people in cutting cost and increasing income. Acquiring a cycle remains adream for many low income households especially in rural India. It is extremely satisfying to see them realise their dream,” says Mr Munjal
About Hero Cycles
The Hero Motors group companies include cycle giant Hero Cycles,auto parts manufacturing companies-Hero Motors Ltd, ZF Hero Chassis Systems Pvt. Ltd, and Munjal Kiriu Industries Pvt. Ltd, hospitality arm Munjal Hospitality and luxury home décor products company Oma Livings.
Incorporated in 1956, Hero Cycles Limited is the largest cycle manufacturer in the world. The company has a manufacturing capacity of 7.5 million bicycles per year, with its unit in Ludhiana(Punjab), Bihta (Bihar) & Ghaziabad (UP). The company has a highly integrated plant in Ludhiana which produces 19,000 cycles every day. It also manufactures automotive rims and various other auto components. Hero Cycles is a leader in both the standard and special bicycle segments in India, with an overall market share of about 36 per cent. The company is equipped with state-of- the-art infrastructure and the most modern machinery. The Company also entered the premium bicycle segment with the launch of its new brand, UT Edge, in February 2012. A nation-wide distribution network with over 2200 dealers and the favourable location of its plants near vendors support its operations and facilitate competitive pricing of its bicycles. Hero Cycles also exports to various countries in Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe.