Wheeling around with Pravin Patil
In this world where being environment conscious and doing the right thing to support the cause is THE thing, cycling invariably has become the mantra for not just keeping the city pollution free but also staying healthy. Pune, once a cyclist’s paradise, has today become a city of two-wheelers, cars and every emission producing vehicle on can think of. But it is changing. And to make sure that the popularity is matched with some fantastic mean machines, you now have Giant, the world’s no. 1 cycling brand come to India and tie-up with Sprint Sports Pvt Ltd. They have come up with Giant Sprint Cycling World near Sangam Bridge (just before RTO office) which is a world class 3500 sq.ft showroom. It has some top-level bikes from all range price and other facilities. Pravin V Patil, MD & CEO, Sprint Sports, speaks of the store, cycling and why it is in fashion.
Can you briefly tell us about the store and what it has to offer to Puneites?
It is the flagship store. For anything in bikes, most shop online or go abroad. For those with a passion for cycling, it is a problem for getting the right cycle or accessory. We have a distribution rights for Giants bicycles in India, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and neighbouring countries except Pakistan. We have bikes which are premium ones (high-end) and also mass premium cycles. These bikes are a trend abroad, but not premium there. Here they are premium. Sprint is the mass premium brand, while Giant is the premium one. You have Off Road bikes which are for trails and such hard surfaces, just like an SUV. The On Road bikes are the ones to be used in the cities, like a sedan, while the hybrid is a mix of both and can be used in either cases. Apart from cycles, you have facilities like bike spa, stimulator, customised bike fit, maintenance, library, cafe and so on. You have the choice of steel, aluminum and karbon bikes – different bikes for different markets and people.
Why do you think cycling has become so fashionable these days?
We (the store) are making it fashionable. Anything which is premium and stylish and people want it. It is the IN thing for them to own these bikes. I used to cycle in the city, but now there is a two-wheeler culture. Cycling got lost. But now people still enjoy cycling. If they buy with care, it will go a long way.
What are the issues for cyclists in India and Pune?
You need to improve the road conditions, as a lot of people want to ride cycles. The corporation needs to take note of this and can have a transport commissioner to take care of the cyclist’s needs. Interestingly, Bangalore is the biggest market in India and second is Pune. Delhi comes in the third place.
Some dos and don’ts while buying a cycle?
Go to a shop, ride the cycle and feel it. If it suits you, then go for it. Do not get confused with models. You can go for a normal entry level bikes and once comfortable, then go for it. It is not necessary to buy the fancy stuff. At our store, we also offer 0% EMI loans.
What are you planning to create more awareness for cycling and your store?
We have bike workshops where we invite our customers. We have Facebook presence plus we send mailers. We will be having bike rally in the last week of November. We are participating in the Pinkathon where we are sponsoring the first prize – a bike. We are doing anything and everything to create awareness of fitness.