Indian Women Riders Rock!

Women power in India is picking momentum be it politics, academics, non-traditional careers, and work environment with increasing number of women in the work force.

During a recent trip, I could not help notice female bikers zipping past traffic signals draped in some form of headwear like scarves covering faces and wearing arm-length pairs of white gloves. The automobile industry in India seems to be geared up for the increase in female owners of scooters and motorcycles by tweaking their products and creating more attractive bikes, small cars and gearless versions of two wheelers.

I feel the popularity of gearless bikes is also due to the fact that it is easier for women from different ages to ride gearless bikes. These bikes are not only affordable and easy to ride but also make commuting easy for students and female office goers.

Industry experts look at the current growth of gearless scooters to be 18 to 20 per cent which is more than the overall total two-wheeler growth of 10 to 15 per cent. It is predicted that the gearless scooter market will constitute 25-30 per cent of the two-wheeler market in the next couple of years.

But female riders also make the drabbest of activities look fashionable! These female riders make Indian roads more colorful with colorful scarves on their head and mouth. Yet I feel that safety should come first and women and bike riders in general should worry about head protection since scarves are no protection in a nasty accident. Cool looking helmets with sleeker designs and peppy colors along with other cool biking accessories— biker jackets, biker clothing, tees, hand gloves etc are need of the day.

The range of products for these biked riding fashionistas can be endless. I see an huge opportunity for Indian fashion designers to work with the Hero, Bajaj, TVS etc. and create an entire line of products like Harley Davison did around their motorcycle.

Let me know your views. Thanks.

Sanjay Puri

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