UM Motorcycle: Riding High on the Success Trajectory with its Superb Motorcycles

UM Motorcycle

UM Motorcycle is known for producing terrific motorcycles with exhilarating design that too at an affordable price. The company believes in providing something unique which people fall in love with and reflects the energy of excitement and builds camaraderie with its customers that set them apart from the status quo. To get more details about its services and uniqueness which this company brought to the automobile world, we have talked with Mr. Rajeev Mishra, CEO of UM Motorcycle.

  1. Kindly elaborate your roles and responsibilities as a leader of UM Motorcycles

As the CEO of the company it is my primary objective to ensure the company’s goals are achieved and targets met. This involves strategic and tactical planning, with the mission of the brand constantly in foresight. As a leader, I have to ensure that my organization has the right manpower, and that the manpower is motivated to not just achieve their personal goals, line them up with the growth of the company as well. I have to juggle multiple hats to ensure smooth functioning of all the departments, and at the same time be at the top of my game given the competitive segment of automobiles that we cater to.  All of this has to be balance with the idea of gaining maximum ROI with as minimum an investment as possible.

  1. What are the different services/products UM Motorcycles offers to its customers?

UM Motorcycles is an American company catering to cruiser motorcycles for the Indian market. We first showcased our motorcycles at the 2014 Auto Expo, and launched our ‘Renegade’ portfolio at the 2016 Auto Expo. With currently have three motorcycles in the product portfolio, with the Renegade Commando Classic as our flagship model.
Although we are an American brand, we take pride in saying that we are an ‘American soul with an Indian heart’ as our products have 70% localization. The motorcycles are assembled at our plant in Kashipur, Uttarakhand which we have with a 50:50 JV with Lohia Auto Industries. Since we entered the market, our motorcycles have received an overwhelming response – the Renegades aren’t just high on features, but also pack a noteworthy performance.
Besides motorcycles, UM also offers its customers a huge range of motorcycle and ride accessories along with merchandise. Our M & A range isn’t just aimed towards a UM customer, but also towards motorcyclists in general, as we believe in catering to the motorcycling segment as a whole.

  1. How do you incorporate with the day-to-day challenges and company goals?

I firmly believe that if an organization is employee friendly, then achieving the tasks and goals becomes way easier. I have the right set of people who take pride in what they do; pro-activeness and an open door policy is also something that helps us achieve our goals together. I want all my employees to be the CEOs of their respective verticals, and I sincerely encourage this. Mistakes occur, but they come with their set of learning – this particular approach of mine has helped us tide through difficult waters and has kept our retention rate high as well.

  1. What is the inspirational element driving you ahead?

My inspirations are all the bosses and CEOs I’ve had the pleasure of working with. There was a lot of learning under them and I tried my best to bring all that learning to the table with my employees. I feel in order for people to follow, one should lead by example and that’s how I work. My team is no less in pushing my boundaries and patience on occasion, but the ability to look at the positive, and always give the benefit of doubt, are factors that constantly drive me ahead.

  1. How will you differentiate UM Motorcycles from the leading competitors in the market?

After an extensive market study, UM has learnt that the middle-class biking enthusiasts on the lookout for reasonably priced cruisers don’t have a choice apart from a Royal Enfield. American cruisers such as Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycles are expensive, and so are the Triumph motorcycles manufactured by the British. Also, since the cruiser market is huge, UM believes, the company has the potential to offer what the middle class customer is seeking. We want to offer our customers quality, performance and experience, instead of competing with anyone else. Also, compared to other cruiser manufacturers in India, we are looking to offer customers a very different riding experience, with many innovative and first-in-India features.

  1. What are the parameters a company needs to follow to be a successful one?

A company should have the right balance of strategy, operations and people.  These are imperative to any team or organization for being successful. The people at the helm of the organization should be receptive, and there should be no fear of approachability or failure.  A mentoring attitude also encourages employees to put forth their ideas and come up with innovative techniques to achieve their target, which eventually benefits the organization.
A clear strategy is always needs as it allows the organization to measure its ROI and success.

  1. List the things that make a leader successful.

Self-awareness and self-analysis: It is the key quality for any leader to be successful. When one measures their own actions and analyses their reactions, it gives them the insight on the methods and approaches used – whether right or wrong; highly needed especially when heading bigger teams.
Team player & empathy: Whether it’s a big organization or small, one needs to be a team player and not work in silos. Empathy is another crucial factor – this isn’t just towards people who you interact directly, but also with whom which you have connected indirectly. No matter what designation you sit in an organization, your people management skills should always be on your list of priorities. As we say in motorcycling ‘If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together’

  1. What are your future plans for the UM Motorcycles?

Moving ahead into the future, we aim to bring more products in the sub-premium motorcycle segment – this would mean getting products which aren’t just high on performance, but also ones which cater to the average Indian’s pocket. Besides this, we are in plans of establishing an engine plant in Telangana, wherein our investment will be around 25 million dollars. Our current facility at Kashipur caters to 50,000 units, this engine plant will enable us to add in another 50,000 units. Not just that, through the new plant UM will also create employment opportunities in that region. Besides this we are very keen on increasing our dealer and service point network, with a special focus on Tier I and Tier II cities, where demand is much higher than the metros and where a Renegade is seen as aspirational.

  1. Kindly share some advice for the young ones entering into the field.

Be willing to learn and absorb knowledge from those around and above you. Some managers are tough task masters, and they’re the ones from whom you can learn the most. Be willing to experiment and don’t restrict yourself with things of your choice only. It’s good to keep your options and horizon wide. The initial phase of your career should focused primarily on learning rather than monetary gains – once you have the skill set and knowledge base and become an asset to an organization, the money will start flowing in. Always have a skill set that makes your indispensable to your organization!

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