Royal Enfield: Book tells story backside making of Indian biking giant – books

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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. Beside spilling the beans on the “behind-the-scenes takeover dramas” and the “bare-knuckled battle” to create the iconic brand, it  could also be the story of the conflict of the old guard with the new leading to dramatic changes in the trade.

“Few brands inspire the type of devotion that an Enfield does. Its distinctive feel and appear, the sound of its engine and the image that it creates of its rider have all contributed to putting the brand on the type 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 fairly a ride. Initial success and acceptance however, by the 1980s, the brand used to be regarded as 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 in 1990. Later, his son Siddhartha brought marketing and product together and catapulted the bike to an iconic status. Today, Enfield has come to epitomise successful trade 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 trade readers in addition to Royal Enfield aficionados.

It also got high compliment 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 total without a “meaningful documentation” of the Royal Enfield, Bhargava described the book as a “fascinating story” of the transformation of a brand.

“This is a great Indian example of entrepreneurship, grit, ardour and resilience,” said Bhargava.

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

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)

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