India CSR News Network
LUDHIANA: In a bid to become a more gender equitable organization, the world’s leading bicycle manufacturer Hero Cycles has for the first time hired as many as 90 female employees to operations at its manufacturing plant in Ludhiana.
This is the first time, women have been recruited to work at the Ludhiana plant, which remains Hero Cycles’ largest manufacturing hub, producing almost 20,000 bicycles every day.
The women have been hired and trained to work across multiple dimensions including mainstream assembly operations, precision monitoring and design.
“We are proud to announce that women have marked a splendid entry into our workforce at the Ludhiana plant. To begin with, we have hired 90 women employees and we are sure they will bring about a paradigm shift in our plant’s operation and working procedures. We have hired women not just for frontal office jobs but also for mainstream operations positions at the plant. Assembly operations are a manpower intensive work that require high degree of precision, alacrity and eye for detail. The ladies have picked up those skills very fast, and are already manning the operations,” says Pankaj Munjal, Chairman and Managing Director of Hero Cycles.
At the plant, the line output as per industrial engineering norms has already been achieved within short time of their joining the workforce.
Hero Cycles is the world’s largest manufacturer of bicycles, and its Ludhiana plant remains its leading manufacturing facility. Hero Cycles has other manufacturing units at Ghaziabad and Bihta in Bihar.
“Women across the country are breaking new glass ceilings every day. Yet, there continue to be areas of work that do not hire women due to certain unwritten rules. We believe it is a myth that women cannot work effectively in manpower intensive jobs such as decal operations and assembly. In fact, women add greater diversity to the work force and bring in additional approaches of problem solving,” adds Munjal.
Having turned their Ludhiana plant pink, Hero Cycles is now looking to hire more women in multiple dimensions across the organization.
Incorporated in 1956, Hero Cycles Limited is the largest bicycle manufacturer by volume in the world. The company has a manufacturing capacity of 7.5 million bicycles per year, with its units in Ludhiana (Punjab), Bihta (Bihar) & Ghaziabad (UP). It has a highly integrated plant in Ludhiana which produces 19,000 bicycles every day. It also manufactures automotive rims and various other precision-engineered auto components.
Hero Cycles posted a turnover of around Rs 3000 crores during the financial year 2014-15 with a production of around 5.5 million cycles. It is the leader in both the standard and specialist bicycle segments in India, with an overall market share of about 41 per cent. Hero Cycles has been aggressively driving growth by clocking a robust 11% growth in the Indian market.
With its recent announcement of entry in the European market and acquisition of Firefox in India and Avocet Sports in UK, Hero Cycles aims to grow by Rs 8000 crore by 2018. The company has also recently acquired a majority stake in Sri Lanka’s leading bicycle manufacturer BSH Ventures, further boosting its manufacturing capacity. In December 2015, Hero Cycles registered a phenomenal sale of over 6 lakh units, making it the highest one month sale in the history of the bicycle industry by any cycle company in India. Riding on strong sales in rural and semi urban areas, and strong growth in the premium cycles segment, the company witnessed 20% growth in month on month sales in December 2015.