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Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai ONGC at KG Basin An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Fortune 500 review Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra EEC at the National Media Centre CII projects higher growth… London, London Narayan TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V The Jan Dhan bonanza Adharma of opposition politics Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Secularism and anti-Hinduism Cutting the nose to spite the face Telangana in top gear… Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Sri Lanka votes for change Modi storms Silicon Valley Computation of GDP – conundrums continue The few handicaps... Put expensive assets created to use... R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Make standards certification mandatory... 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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 CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... More tributes to GR Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Tatas moving out of urea production... Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Readers' Mail Of course, Gujarat is vibrant A friendly business group The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Poor quality of university VCs Funding the un-funded No engine for this car Where a state respects its litterateurs… The sea- saw battle continues... Remembering Indira Sivasailam... PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals When small is no larger beautiful.. Valli, they are more marginalised Fortune for Indian Airlines TIAM turns a full cycle Contrarian cousins West Bengal: mindless malignancy This scant respect for Law Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Modi and the lady Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Tough task taking states together The power-full Hindujas Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Convulsions in The Hindu Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Things happen by accident and not by design... Streamlining mandatory third party cover No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Excel Generators provide the vital back-up IPL type auction for VCs? WTO Meet: resolved to meet again The Gulf aviation boom Kinetic Karnataka Pharma – overdose of copying Delhi returns to BJP Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad
 
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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