Vimal Sumbly, former managing director, Triumph Motorcycles India has joined Royal Enfield as the Head of Asia Pacific. He will be based out of Gurugram to begin with and later move to Thailand to oversee Royal Enfield's Asia Pacific business operations. He served as the managing director for Triumph Motorcycles ever since the brand began operations in India in 2013 till a few months ago. He has been instrumental in establishing Triumph as one of the biggest premium two-wheeler manufacturers in India. Prior to his stint with Triumph Motorcycles, Sumbly was also responsible in helping Bajaj set up KTM and Probiking outlets in India as part of Bajaj Auto's top management.
Royal Enfield has its plan in place to become a global player in the premium motorcycle segment and Vimal Sumbly is the third high-profile hiring after Sudhanshu of Start Sports (who will head the branding for Royal Enfield) and Simon Warburton (former Triumph UK's Head of Design) as the head of product development for the company.
Since April 2018, Royal Enfield has sold about 71,000 units a month (Domestic + Global Exports). The average global exports though for the same time have been about 1,800 units a month. One of the biggest challenges for Sumbly will be to get more units exported to Asia Pacific region along with building a brand name for Royal Enfield at par with other global brands such as Triumph Motorcycles and Harley-Davidson. Currently, Royal Enfield has presence is Asian markets such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia etc.
The fact that Royal Enfield is also looking to set up an assembly plant in South East Asia, with Thailand and Indonesia being considered primarily makes it an even more important job. A new facility along with solid brand building will be key to Royal Enfield's success in Asia Pacific, which happens to be one of the largest markets for two-wheelers. And, this is where Sumbly's expertise will prove to be handy.
Royal Enfield is ready to launch the 650 Twins globally this month, with the India launch slated for November 2018. Going forward, Royal Enfield has its eyes set on grabbing a substantial slice of the mid-size motorcycle segment globally. Royal Enfield has also confirmed that the Continental GT 650 and the Interceptor 650 will not be the only motorcycles with the all-new 650 cc parallel-twin engine. The company will be offering the same in other motorcycles from its portfolio, starting with the Royal Enfield Himalayan.