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INTERVIEW: ABHINAV JB RANA, DUCATI NEPAL

Seeing an authorized dealership of one of the most coveted performance motorcycle brands in Nepal was a farfetched dream for many auto enthusiasts of Nepal, but that is exactly what happened when TurboMotors Pvt. Ltd. unveiled the presence of Italian performance motorcycle Ducati back in 2010.

Now, six years down the line TurboMotors Pvt. Ltd. has cemented its position as the leader in terms of performance motorcycles distribution in Nepal. They have been quick to follow up global launches making sure a suitable lineup was available in Nepal while providing the required after sales services to their customers. We spent some time with Abhinav JB Rana, Chairman of TurboMotors Pvt. Ltd. to see how they got things right.

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AL: HOW DID YOU ZERO IN ON YOUR DECISION TO BRING DUCATI INTO THE NEPALESE MARKET?  

JB: We always wanted to start up something after we finished our college, me and Udeep (Shrestha, Executive Director). Ducati was always a favorite for us, and the fact that it was already a well known moniker for the Nepalese people was an added bonus. The Hypermotard was always a favorite for me.

AL: AT THE TIME OF INTRODUCTION, DO YOU THINK THE NEPALESE AUTOMOBILE MARKET WAS READY FOR A BRAND LIKE DUCATI?

JB: Definitely. It helped that it was a known brand, but we also recognized that the market had considerable scope for premium and big bikes. In the first year, we had plans of selling 8 bikes which was decided mutually between us and the company, and we ended up selling 16. I knew there was a market because a lot of people were talking about it, now they are our customers since we opened up.

AL: WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT HITCHES ALONG THE WAY FOR TURBOMOTORS?

JB: There have been some issues that came up, most of which were bogus news. They said the government would be imposing a ban on motorcycles exceeding the 500cc. But that petered out to nothing and ended up creating unnecessary commotion amongst customers and the market.

The lack of proper regulation in Nepal is evident and getting things right is going to be a long process. As an institution, we try to stick to doing our job the best way we can.

Although we didn’t get the after sales service, and the maintenance perfect right away we got things right pretty fast. Today we have a very strong workforce with the right facilities. We send our staff over to Thailand for yearly trainings and seminars to maintain and improve our services.

AL: EXPANDING TO OTHER CITIES OUTSIDE OF KATHMANDU?

JB: We have interests of opening up in few of the cities outside Kathmandu but all in due time.

AL: WHAT IS THE STRONGEST ASPECT OF TURBOMOTORS?

JB: We got the product right, that’s for sure. Ducati does a great job of setting itself apart on its own. And to back that up we have the best available service and facilities.

AL: IN REGARDS TO EXTERNALITIES AND COMPETITION, WHAT SORT OF STRATEGIES ARE YOU IMPLYING OR PLANNING TO IMPLEMENT?

JB: The threat of a strong competitor is very real, most probably from Japanese manufacturers of premium motorcycles. However, we have a very strong team and a head start. We are confident we will be able to roll with the punches regardless of impending competition or unstable business environments.

AL: TELL US ABOUT THE PROVISION OF FINANCING SERVICES FOR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS WHO SEEK THE FACILITY.

JB: It has definitely helped broaden our customer base by a significant margin. We are tied up with Ace Development Bank for the financing facilities but you can associate with any bank of your choosing too. It has made it a lot more convenient for our customers.

AL: HOW IS THE AFTER SALES SERVICE OF DUCATI?

JB: Bad after sales services can be a deal breaker and we understand that. This is especially true when it comes to big premium bikes that involve a high level of investment. We are confident of our services and have been doing a good job. We follow a high level of professionalism and our staff is very well trained. We ensure we have a stock of required spare parts on hand. We also have an association with DHL so that we can fill in any gaps that may occur in terms of availability of products.

AL: WHICH WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR STRONGEST PRODUCT FROM THE DUCATI STABLE?

JB: The Ducati Scrambler is strong in every aspect, and is perfect for Nepal. The Monster does have a strong appeal and it did do very well, but the Scrambler seems like a great fit for the Nepalese market

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