/ The Economic Times

Anand Mahindra explains the idea behind bringing back Jawa to India

Anand Mahindra explains the idea behind bringing back Jawa to India
Mahindra and Mahindra’s two-wheeler subsidiary Classic Legends launched three Jawa-branded motorcycles here on Thursday  

Mahindra and Mahindra’s two-wheeler subsidiary Classic Legends launched three Jawa-branded motorcycles here on Thursday, reviving the defunct Czech brand in India. Spearheaded by Classic Legends founder Anupam Thareja, and a stake from Boman Irani of Rustomjee Group, whose family originally brought the brand to India, this undertaking is Mahindra group's latest foray into the two-wheeler business. 

Ketan Thakkar and Nehal Chaliawala talk to Mahindra and Mahindra chairman Anand Mahindra on the sidelines of the Jawa launch. Edited excerpts -

Through your subsidiary Classic Legends, you are going to handle multiple brands under one company which is often a difficult task. How do you plan to manage that? 

One of the biggest growth areas, or rather an imperative, for any B2C (Business to Consumer) company in the future, will be how they build experiences into their brands. Every company is trying to transform into an experience-based company, even Airbnb. They know that they cannot just survive by giving rooms anymore, they need to give experiences. 


From that point of view, the idea is that if we get that core expertise of building experiences, I think the job of managing multiple brands gets easier because ultimately our core expertise will be experiences.

That's a very theoretical answer but I know that every company in the world that is a B2C company is worrying about this. 

There is the strong corporate pillar which has always existed. But what I think bike business, especially this niche business requires - that recipe we finally have. We have a story, a history, and a brand - and an authentic one. And we have the knowledge and the passion from Anupam. He was instrumental in resurrecting the Enfield brand. 

What we are really going to do this time is be authentic. Be true to the brand, for which Boman is there to help us - understanding what the DNA of the brand is. We will bring everything that Mahindra can bring to bear in a corporate garage to make sure that this is not like a start-up starved of facilities and people. 

So this time I think the formula is right. 

What are your plans as a company for two-wheelers from here? How do see the path ahead for Mahindra two-wheel .

Let me put it simply like this that this is the two-wheeler business. We have a BSA brand it will be with Classic Legends. This company now for India will be our two-wheeler business. Peugeot is a brand that we are turning around in France. It is for them to decide whether there is room for it (in India) and whether they think they can market it here. 

This is the two-wheeler business and I don't think there is time now to try and dissipate our focus away. 

Mahindra has always been a mass-market brand. Lately, you have these niche and premium undertakings like Pininfarina and Classic Legends. Is this a new direction that the company is heading in? 

When you say direction it means something gets left behind, as if we are moving away. We don't have a plan to ever move away from our accessibility and that broad appeal. Having said that, Mahindra was never in the mass-market even with our four-wheelers. We were in a category of SUVs and ruggedness. So in a funny sense, we are being true now in everything we do to what Mahindra's DNA was. 

Because we were always a differentiated brand. So as we all in Mahindra have grown, we have begun to understand who we are better. We understand experiences. Even Club Mahindra is an experiences company, not a mass market hotel company. And to be honest I think the world is moving in that direction. In almost every industry, the commodity-based mess market is being redefined by technology and new organisational structures. If we look at cars, it's shared mobility. I think every company in the fu .. 

I think we are a little ahead of the game in understanding that, building the armory to attack that market of the future. Whether it is going to be a supreme luxury, as in the case of Pininfarina or this kind of premium motorcycles, we are always going to look for differentiated experiences. There is a broad direction towards recognising the customers of the future. 

Going into the future, how would you want Classic Legends and Mahindra to be known as in the two-wheeler space? 

If I get to abstract about it and have and have too many broad goals behind this, and focus too much there, then it won't work. Right now I think what is going to work is just focusing on doing our duty on this brand. I don't want to muck up anything by ascribing too many motives to what we are doing. We're just going to keep our heads down and make sure Jawa works.


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Note - Classic Legends Private Limited does not take any responsibility for the payment made to such fraudulent websites (including people) and shall in no event be held liable for the same.

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