Bajaj Auto’s relentless focus on markets outside of India has helped the maker of Pulsar and KTM bikes to clock more sales in exports for two consecutive months.
The company sold more two-wheelers outside of India in January and December than in India during the two months.
Exports of Bajaj's two-wheelers during January and December grew by 19 and 13 per cent even as its domestic sales dropped by 22 and 21 percent respectively during the same two months.
This is the first time in nearly two years that Bajaj’s two-wheeler exports have surpassed that of its domestic volumes. Exports typically commanded a share of 40 percent of Bajaj’s production in the last financial year.
The domestic market has been hit by one of the worst slowdowns in recent years with the market contracting 16 percent by end of January to 18.85 million. But due to its strategy of expanding export markets for years Bajaj was able to subdue the impact of the domestic slowdown significantly.
For instance the company clocked a decline of 14 percent in domestic two-wheeler volumes during April-January to 1.83 million units. But thanks to a growth of 10 percent in exports to 1.59 million units during the same period the company’s overall (domestic + exports) two-wheeler fall got restricted to just 4 percent.
Its exports share has thus zoomed to 47 percent by end of January, as per data disclosed by the company. Bajaj Auto has been the leading exporter of two and three-wheelers for the past several years with operations in more than 70 countries. As of January Bajaj had 53 percent share of total two-wheeler exports from India.
Speaking to analysts Rakesh Sharma, Chief Commercial Officer & Executive Director, Bajaj Auto said, “Outlook for exports remains steady at least going into the next couple of quarters or three quarters. The last 2-3 quarters have been quite rock steady. And we expect the same thing going forward. The real driver for growth is Africa, particularly Nigeria and East Africa. These regions are powering the growth of Africa and actually for the entire international business.”
Nepal, Sri Lanka and Nigeria have been strong export markets for Bajaj but now newer pockets are gaining significance.
"Philippines is really a bright star and has been doing exceedingly well. We've got a great position over there. Bangladesh also has become a very large market, but it has had some regulatory intervention because of which the market had taken a little bit of a dive, but as the dust is settling and we expect Bangladesh market also to come back," added Sharma.