The Heroes of Indian Two-Wheeler Industry that made us Proud
Modified On Oct 24, 2018 By Pradeep Shah
Slowly and steadily, the Indian two-wheeler industry is moving towards becoming one of the most generous automotive markets, not only in Asia but in the entire world. Every sector of the two-wheeler fraternity is coming up with new champions who have given their contribution in their own way. But as they say, nothing becomes successful overnight, for it needs constant dedication and focus.
With this in mind, today, we have shortlisted some personalities from different segments of the Indian automotive industry that have proved - We Indians are capable of doing anything.
Dr. Brijmohan Lall Munjal - Founder and Chairman, Hero MotoCorp
The credit for establishing the biggest two-wheeler company and taking it to leading heights goes to Mr. Brijmohan Lall Munjal. Mujal started his career with Hero Cycles that was into supplier business in the initial phase. Soon after, the firm was shifted into manufacturing and with his pure dedication and hard work, Munjal made it the largest manufacturer of bicycles in India, and then eventually in the whole world.
Munjal decided to make a shift into two-wheeler business and started Majestic Auto that used to manufacture Majestic mopeds. After its success, Brijmohan entered into a joint venture with Honda and the story of Hero Honda started in the year 1984. The partnership proved fruitful and the company became the largest manufacturer of two-wheelers in the world by the year 2001. For his indispensable contribution in the Indian two-wheeler space, Munjal was awarded the Padma Bhushan in the year 2005. Six years later, Hero split up with Honda and the company was renamed as Hero MotoCorp.
In 2013, Hero MotoCorp created a benchmark by producing a total of 50 million two-wheelers. After this amazing journey, the sad moment came on 1st November 2015 when 92-year old “Father of Indian Two-wheeler industry” departed to heaven, leaving behind a huge and promising two-wheeler empire.
Rajini Krishnan - 10-time National Racing Champion & Winner of Malaysia Superbike Championship
Motorsports in India aren’t much popular and the ones involved in it have to go through numerous hurdles in order to get success and earn some identity. Furthermore, the lack of opportunities also make a big question mark in front of the rider that looks forward to achieve something remarkable in this field. Rajini Krishnan is one such example that overcame all these difficulties without losing courage and became one of the finest Indian racers till date.
Rajini started his racing career in the year 2002 when he was 21. The guy entered into amateur racing and two years later got a sponsored by TVS Racing team in 2004. During his tie-up with TVS from 2004 to 2008, Rajini gained enough confidence to pursue his dream and continue as a professional racer. He was racing in the 165cc category at the time and soon got trained to make his shift to the 600cc class. He is currently racing in the 1000cc category and would love to park BMW S1000RR, Kawasaki ZX-10R and Aprilia RSV4 in his dream garage. In total, Rajini has made 10 National racing titles to his name and has recently won the Pirelli Malaysia Superbike Championship. Besides this, he has also won the Malaysian Super Series and got podium in the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship.
According to Rajini, finding a sponsor is very difficult in India and fruitful steps must be taken to improve the scenario of motorsports in the country. Even the smallest game of cricket finds sponsors and is repeatedly telecasted on television but the racing events are not. Manufacturers should indulge into such sports and make their contribution to make India a better place for motorsports.
C.S. Santosh - The Only Indian to Conquer the Dakar Rally
For those who haven’t heard of Dakar Rally, it is the most dangerous legally sanctioned sport event in the world. Bringing a proud moment for Indian motorsports, the 31-year old C.S. Santosh from Coimbatore participated and completed the threatening event with his immense will power. Santosh raced through Argentina, Bolivia & Chile and covered over 9000kms in just 13 days. This is what his feeling was after concluding the rally, “It was about 4:30-5 AM during one my transports when I thought that I could actually finish this. At that time, I cried inside my helmet. I thought of all the sacrifices that I had to make and that hard work that I had to do to reach where I am. It was a very emotional moment for me.”
Santosh rode a rally-prepared KTM 450 and returned with a broken toe, a drenched airbox, multiple cuts and bruises along with several swollen limbs. During the entire event, RedBull was the only company that supported him and provided ground support with all the required assistance. Santosh had to spent a whopping Rs. 70 lac for the entire process and is still under debts of those who helped him realised his dream.
Like other racers, Santosh was also looking for sponsors and the promises were made to great expectations. However, the words fail and the rider was left with no option but to find another way. After he concluded the Dakar rally, International media was keen to know about what kind of support he got from his country. With a heavy heart, Santosh answered the opposite so that his country doesn’t get insulted in front of the world.
Vijay Singh - Founder, Rajputana Customs
Rajputana Customs is presently one of the most well-known bike modification stop for buyers who want to give their machines a whole new look. Started by Vijay Singh of Jaipur in the year 2009, his firm has indeed earned a decent name in the country and has attracted a good number of visitors.
Vijay got his first bike - a dirt modified BSA Falcon at the age of 7, which he used to ride it in the MotoCross track in Jaipur (now been turned into Central Park). There, he used to race in the 75cc category with his adults. Vijay went to Ottawa, Canada to pursue his education in Mass Communication at Carleton University and returned to India in June 2009. After a lot of thinking and convincing his parents, he setup his dream garage in Jaipur. Mr. Singh showcased his first modified bike named ‘Original Gangster’ at the 2010 Indian Auto Expo and received an overwhelming response from the audience. He then started taking orders from customers and is happy delivering 12 units per year. His second bike ‘Lightfoot’ was ordered by Bollywood actor and a true biking nut - John Abraham in the year 2010.
Vijay has a total of 14 members in his team who work dedicatedly and give all that they have to the bikes that come for customization. Rajputana Customs has delivered more than 35 customized motorcycles till date with the same number of satisfied customers. Also an avid racer by heart, Vijay believes that University experience is great but in the long run, the life experience matters more than a university.