There is a huge range of jobs and opportunities that you can consider if you are a passionate cyclist, or if you are an extraordinary individual with business or technical skills with cycling as a hobby.
Bicycle industry in India is rapidly progressing. Famous brands like Shimano, Trek Bikes, Giant Bicycles and more have started to set up their direct base in India and many are studying the market with our assistance too.
Here are 5 basic skills and 10 working options in the Indian bicycle industry.
6 BASIC SKILLS TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN BICYCLING INDUSTRY.
1: In-Depth Knowledge:
A bicycle is not simple a transportation method anymore. With research and development going to the next level, bicycling industry has evolved a lot and uses lot of complex methods to design, test and manufacture state of the art components and bicycles of all types. One needs to keep him/her up to date with all the new standards as well as old ones in order to educate the clients professionally. Learn the secret behind jargons like 1X11, 650B+, Boost hubs, Snake Bite, Slack Geometry, 35mm rise, 800mm width, enduro, CX bike, Press Fit BB and the list goes on. Knowledge of E-Bikes is considered equally important nowadays.
2: Basic Mechanical Skills:
It’s true, but if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty once a while, then you have more fair chances to grow in the bicycling industry. Apart from fixing flats, you need to learn and enhance your basic mechanical skills like bleeding hydraulic brakes, adjusting derailleurs, Removing/Installing fork crown race, Assemble/Disassemble the bike. These skills can be polished with the help of a pro once you start working with a brand. Companies like Decathlon, Shimano, Trek Bikes organizes occasional training sessions for their employees to enhance their mechanical skills which can give you a good role in bicycle industry.
3: Enthusiasm for Cycling:
To succeed in this industry, you need to be enthusiastic about cycling. This will also help you to understand the cycling industry, quality standards, demands by the industry, clients and customers. Go participate in those cycling events and festivals organized all around India. Go for daily or occasional group rides with your friends or cycling communities. Participate in guided mountain bike holidays and tours, cyclothons or fun bicycle rallies. This will also help you to build good contacts who can help you during your career. In simple words; if the passion for (any style) cycling isn’t there then pick a different career because you will never be successful.
4: Good Communication Skills:
Being able to communicate all above-mentioned skills effectively is the most important task. There are specific things to do that can improve your communication skills: Listen, listen, and listen. Who you are talking to matters. Body language matters. Right knowledge of bicycles is important. Check your message before you hit send. Be brief, yet specific. Write things down. Sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone. Think before you speak. There are many passionate cyclists who look for support from cycling brands. Never ignore their messages. Good communication skills will make you a better person in this industry who can sell bikes, market the brands and ideas, connect with the riding community and take brand closer to everyone.
5: Social Media Skills:
Being able to promote a bicycle brand/products online is an added advantage. All the above-mentioned skills combined with expertise in various social media platforms will bring you genuine followers and connect with the cycling community globally. To be very good at this, You might want to learn designing creative content or hire a professional designer / design agency who can create the right, detailed and interactive content under your professional supervision. You don’t want to mislead the followers by showing wrong or false images and information. Putting your brand name on other well-known bikes is not only unprofessional but can lead to legal ramifications. Luckily, quality content developers with cycling background are available in our country who can create professional designs, photographs and videos for your social media platforms. Feel free to get in touch with us for this job.
6: Think outside the box:
Are you the one with an MBA degree and follow the book rules only? Then this industry is not for you as you have more chances to be in the bad books of the Indian cycling community. As a degree holder with no cycling background; you are by-default programmed to just seek profits and make money and not focused to connect the brand with the cyclists. Apart from your job requirements, innovate methods to enhance the brand value. Organize workshops, create bike parks, associate with cycling events, build factory race teams, create interactive advertising methods rather that lame looking flex banners etc. are just some of the few ideas to start with.
Now that you have acquired these basic skills – Lets suggest some work options in Indian bicycle industry.
CAREER OPTIONS IN INDIAN CYCLING INDUSTRY
1: Professional Cycling:
A career in cycling industry does not only mean to work with bicycle brands. You can contribute to the competitive cycling scene of India too. Cycling Federation of India (CFI) conducts commissaire course in association with the UCI occasionally. You can get in touch with the Cycling Federation of India to join these courses for Road, Track and mountain bike courses and enter the world of competitive cycling as a certified commissaire. Although these courses are not meant for everyone, but if you are a veteran competitive cyclist with fair technical knowledge and have contacts with the state or national cycling community; This is definitely for you.
2: Bike Brands and Bike Shops:
As mentioned earlier; many bicycle brands are now established in India. Old brands like Avon, Atlas, Hero have also stepped up their game and are seeking for passionate individuals who can contribute to their new high-end bikes. Global brands like B-twin bicycles (Decathlon India), Trek Bikes India, Firefox Bikes, Suncross Bikes and Famous bike shops like Bums-On-The Saddle or better known as BOTS are on continuous lookout for like-minded cyclists. Various positions from Sales and Marketing to Bike Technicians are opened occasionally. We advise you to follow their social media pages and website regularly to keep yourself updated. Additionally, you can also consider working with your local bike shop as a trainee or a store manager which will help you to gain a good experience.
3: Design and Development:
If you have a knack for that aesthetic side as an industrial designer or have some engineering innovation methods to make bicycles better then you can consider joining Indian brands like TI cycles, Avon Cycles, Atlas Cycles, Hero Cycles or Psynyde Bikes who have started developing serious bikes for cycling enthusiasts. To enhance your design skills, you can opt for Transportation Design or Industrial Design course from famous institutes like NID (National Institute of Design) in Ahmedabad. You can design bikes to components to riding gear and more.
4: Bicycle Guide:
Adventure Tourism is a great industry and bicycle tours are on the of most demanded activity in this industry. From Kerala in South, to Rajasthan in West, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh upper North and Sikkim in North East; cycling/mountain biking tours are widely organized in these places by many famous operators like Himalayan Mountain Bike Network, Mountain Bike Kerala and Hub Outdoors. If you are comfortable living in the outdoors, have endurance to cover long distance daily anywhere between 7 to 10 days, then you can get a job as a bicycle guide during the tourist season which can give you good profits and tips from clients. However, you need to be familiar with the tour itinerary and be good with communicating to domestic and foreign clients. Basic First-Aid knowledge is an added advantage.
5: Bike Technician:
High end road and mountain bikes sales have seen major boom in our country recently. These bikes require regular repair and servicing. There is a lot of progress if you are a professional bike technician who has in-depth knowledge and a decent set-up with the best tools to fix the bike and all components. Having a dedicated bike repair shop/setup in your local-community is a great thing for you and the riders who love to spend their hard-earned money to keep the bike in perfect running condition. You can also associate with various cycling clubs and teams to provide your service regularly. Bike service shops like SharpTune are the best example who have dedicated their time to fix the bike passionately. Companies like Decathlon and other bikes shops are also on the lookout for dedicated bike technicians.
6: Bicycle Cop:
YES! You read that right. Dedicated bicycles tracks have developed in cities like Chandigarh, New Delhi, Bangalore and many are in the list. Safety issue is a major concern here as these bicycle tracks are misused by the motor vehicles. A special dedicated unit of bicycle cops have been deployed on the bicycle tracks of Chandigarh to keep the cyclists of the city safe. However, these units require some supervision and training from experienced cyclists and you can volunteer for this role. If you have the right qualifications and fit enough to clear the physical standards by the Police, you can consider a role as a bicycle cop too.
7: Professional Competitive Cyclist:
Cycling fast as hell is your forte? Then becoming full time or part time competitive cyclist is a great option. Many brands are opting for various methods to increase their presence. Creating bicycling team or hiring dedicated cyclists is one of them. It is also one of the most difficult roles to get. Mountain Bikers and Road Bikers with good podium record (first 10) in local/state, National events and other private races are considered for this role. Apart from passion and medals, you need to have good followers on social media and a good plan for the next 5 years in competitive cycling world. Usually young riders below 25 are considered for this role. Ensure you participate in lot of races in India and outside of India with good ranking. Ensure you have a lot of photos and videos of yourself during these events. If you don’t have good photos, then hire professional photographers for this job and arrange a special shoot for yourself. You need to train regularly, maintain and update your portfolio regularly with full details so that a prospective sponsor can support you accordingly with riding gear, bike and a salary apart from race entry fees and travel money.
If you like to travel a lot with your bike, participate in cycling events, taking photographs and are capable of describing them as a story with good number of words, then you can start working as an independent or freelance journalist with various media platforms like Freerider Mountain Bike Magazine or sports edition of famous news papers like Hindustan Times and many more. You can even submit your stories to various online and print media platforms too who can pay a fair amount for your cycling adventure story which shows the location, how to get there, what to do there etc. The focus should not be on you only. Ensure your story is engaging, full of information and builds up the excitement for the readers. The photographs needs to be equally outstanding.
9: Bike Messenger:
Although it’s not a very famous job title, but a bike messenger can be considered as a part-time job during your holidays or if you are a freelancer who can invest time for this role. You can approach your local courier company and propose them for this job after explaining them the benefits they have while saving huge amount of fuel prices, motor vehicle maintenance cost, contributing to the environment etc. The payout can be based on per package/envelope delivery and can vary from company to company. But if you love pedaling around and don’t mind hustling through the traffic and do the job with full responsibility, then this could be a good part-time option. Good to keep you in shape.
10: Private Coach / Instructor:
If you are a good cyclist (BMX, Road or Mountain) who loves to share the riding skills/knowledge/experience with the new riders / beginners then you can work as independent cycling coach or as an instructor. Here you can start weekend workshops or classes for your students where you teach them basics of cycling including how to setup the bike right, pedal correctly, seating position, braking techniques, riding posture etc. This not only helps to generate a side-income but also creates better cyclists in the community. Once you have gained good experience in your local area, you can also work with outdoor adventure companies like Himalayan Mountain Bike Network, Youreka, InMe who also organizes mountain biking / cycling camps in the outdoors.
Start building the right combination of skills today if you are serious about making career in the Indian cycling industry which needs passionate people who love and ride bicycles. If you’re the kind of person who loves to share the ride, put people on bikes, create difference in the riding communities and is infatuated by the cycling world – We would love to watch you and the Indian cycling fraternity grow.