A poor welder’s son founded a riding gears brand with two tailors, and used stitching machines. Biking Brotherhood now clocks a turnover of Rs. 10 crore.
A man who grew up riding luxury motorcycles and hanging out at the local mechanic shop in his birthplace of Kailasapuram in Trichy district, Tamil Nadu, now controls a company with a Rs 10 crore turnover.
Ansar, 44, whose father was a poor welder, is the man behind Biking Brotherhood, a Chennai-based manufacturer of high-quality riding gear for adventure riders including as jackets, boots, gloves, and racing suits.
With two secondhand stitching machines and two tailors, Ansar founded Biking Brotherhood, a riding gears brand.
Ansar had a rough childhood because his father, who is now no more was the family’s sole earner and earned barely Rs 750 per month as a welder.
Ansar, whose family relocated to Chennai when he was 10 years old after his father went to work in Saudi Arabia, adds, “I never got to wear new things when I was younger.”
Ansar also worked in repair shops in Chennai.
He says he was generating a Rs 8,000 to 10,000 profit every month, so he started repaying the money.
Around this time, the selling of mobile sim cards began to increase, and Ansar formed partnerships with Airtel, Hutch, and Aircel to sell their prepaid cards from his shop.
He received Rs 1,000 for each postpaid card sold. Every day, Ansar sold at least one postpaid sim.
According to Ansar, when every other shop in the neighbourhood began selling sim cards, this business, too, lost its lustre within a year.
Through a friend’s referral, he joined Sutherland, a BPO, in 2004 for a salary of Rs 20,000 and assisted in the establishment of their operations in Chennai.
Later, he worked for INSYS Inc before moving to Xoriant, a software business in Pune, as Assistant Vice President with an annual salary of Rs 30 lakh in 2011. Ansar continued to pursue his passion for motorcycles while working at numerous IT firms.
When he was a teenager, he bought his first motorcycle, a Yamaha RX 100. His first superbike was a Rs 2 lakh KTM that he purchased in 2011 while in Pune.
In 2012, Ansar was key in establishing ‘Dukes of Pune,’ the first organised superbike riders’ group of its sort. When Ansar founded Dukes of Pune, Alpinestars, a worldwide brand of motorsports clothing and protective gear, was the only store in Pune where bikers could buy their riding gear.
With the desire to launch Biking Brotherhood, Ansar purchased two secondhand stitching machines and one hemming machine in Chennai for half the price in mid-2013, while still in Pune, for one lakh rupees.
He recruited two tailors to get started. One of the tailors was a cobbler who had been patching motorcyclists’ leather jackets in Chennai for many years.
Ansar says, “We are also trusted production partners for other riding gear manufacturers as well. We design and manufacture protective gear for motorcycle manufacturers such as Bajaj, TVS Racing, KTM, and Yamaha.
Ansar says that Biking Brotherhood is the only Indian riding gear company with its own full-fledged manufacturing operation, with products exported to Europe, South America, and Central Africa.
Ansar founded Biking Brotherhood in a 600-square-foot area on the bottom level of his Korattur, Chennai, home. He left 8KMiles in 2014 to focus solely on his business. He also invested Rs 25 lakh in a 500-square-foot flagship store on Mount Road.
Ansar began producing jackets, gloves, and boots. Initially, though, they only sold four to five coats per month. As a result, by 2015, he had chosen to close the business.
His wife Ayesha, on the other hand, advised that they hold a sale during Diwali. Ansar claims, “I placed the entire product line up for 50% off on my own Facebook page. Within a fortnight, more than 80% of the inventory had been sold, and we had almost Rs 8 lakh in our account.”
They have been growing year after year since then.
The jackets sold by Biking Brotherhood cost between Rs 6,000 and Rs 10,000.
Ansar, an ardent motorcyclist, was involved in establishing a superbike riders’ organisation in Pune in 2012. Today, the company offers over 60 goods through over 120 dealers across India.
The riding gear is also available on the company’s website as well as other e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart. Biking Brotherhood employs 22 workers in a 6000 sq ft building in Korattur, including pattern masters and tailors. Ansar currently resides in Chennai with his wife, Ayesha, and mother.