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For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Welcome GST Gas is the way forward Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... When nations steal growth from one another… Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Tough task taking states together Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Tribute – M V Murugappan The Swadeshi Trump Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet EVM is tamper-proof The Gulf aviation boom Welcome focus on core competence Build close rapport with business leaders The power-full Hindujas Revving up the manufacturing sector The balancing act Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! A professional at the helm of IRDA... Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Rahman at CIC Convulsions in The Hindu Modi and the lady Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Increasing non co-operation of state leaders For whom the bell tolls? to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Nuclear power at the nucleus Sri Lanka votes for change F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Mersal magnified Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Shanti and Sadhana through Music A welcome initiative by the judiciary TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Adharma of opposition politics WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Telangana in top gear… Auto components surge… Another Indian music maestro at the UN Poor quality of university VCs Tatas moving out of urea production... Small units prefers to remain small... 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TIAM turns a full cycle

Tube Investments of India Ltd (referred to as TIAM), part of the Murugappa Group, pioneered the production of bicycles in the south six decades ago. Set up in collaboration with prestigious British companies like Tube Investments, Brampton Fittings, Wright Saddles… TI Cycles produced branded bicycles in higher value ranges. Along with Tube Products and TI Metal Sections, the Murugappa Group emerged a leader in the light engineering sector.

Its contemporaries, Sen and Pandit which manufactured Raleigh, Rudge and Humber brands of cycles and Hind Cycles, the oldest bicycle unit set up by the Birlas, turned sick, were nationalised and later closed down. TIAM changed its track, adjusted to emerging market needs, focused on high-end bicycles and became a leader in this segment. A recent annual report of TII referred to identifying ‘new class of consumers fast taking to the turf of cycling, health, recreation, environmental sensitivity, community of like-minded people’ as the new generation growth drivers. While the demand for conventional products stagnated or grew very slow (at 2 per cent last year), TI Cycles’ sales recorded a growth of 6 per cent resulting in increased revenue from cycles and components to Rs 1314 crore (Rs 1185 crore in 2013-14).

The company has manufacturing plants in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. A new bicycle plant is under construction at Rajpura, Punjab to cater to the Northern and Eastern markets.  I remember the acute competition faced by TIAM, Sen, Pandit and Hind Cycles, having their plants respectively at Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai, from Hero Cycles, Avon Cycles and Road Master Industries in Punjab and Atlas Cycles in Haryana. The northern companies could offer bicycles with comparable quality at much cheaper prices. This eventually led to the closure of two of these. Even TIAM remained closed in the late 1960s for over 10 months.  

M V Subbiah, then heading the operations of TI Cycles in 1960s, re-structured the operations: phased out the costlier production of components, saddles… focused on higher end products and turned around the company. I remember the initial disdain of procuring components from Punjab on quality considerations. But soon, TI opened shop at Faridabad; in recent years it has been procuring components from China, now busy constructing a modern plant at Rajpura! A full cycle has been turned!

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