TI Cycles' new fitness strategy

'Growing bottomlines by slimming waistlines' seems to be the strategy of the Murugappa Group's TI Cycles, a division of the Rs1,584-crore Tube Investments of India Ltd.

Chennai: After popularising its bicycles all over the country, TI Cycles, a division of Tube Investments of India Limited (FY 2006 gross sales turnovers; Rs1,584 crore), now plans to replicate its success story in its fitness equipment segment.

The country's second-largest bicycle manufacturer recently announced its arrival in the fitness equipment segment with the launch of four products — exerciser cycles, recumbent bikes, elliptical trainer, motorised treadmills and the home gyms under the brand BSA Workouts.

Explaining the rationale for TI Cycles pedalling into this segment, G Ramprasad, president, TI Cycles says, "The changing lifestyle in urban India and higher stress levels have resulted in an increasing trend towards personal fitness. This has resulted in the proliferation of neighborhood gyms, jogging parks and home gyms. Even cycling in urban India is moving towards fitness, as it is one of the best forms of cardio vascular exercises. We see fitness equipment business as an extension to bicycles, a natural progression and a good business opportunity."

A commerce graduate from Madras University and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata, Ramprasad has been entrusted with several critical assignments at the Murugappa group.

As the executive director of EID Parry India Ltd and the CEO of Parryware division, Ramprasad contributed significantly to the transformation of the unit from an inward focussed to market / consumer-oriented one. He also held the position of chairman, Indian Council of Sanitaryware Manufacturers.

Prior to his current assignment, he had handled sales and marketing at various consumer goods companies such as Funskool India Ltd, Hindustan Lever Ltd and Sara Lee (in India).