Steelbird Helmets plans to invest over Rs 250 crore to set up a new manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu’s Hosur city. In the initial phase, it will invest Rs 100 crore in the project and the remainder within the following year.
This will be the company’s first manufacturing facility in southern India and the ninth in the country—it has four in Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, respectively.
Regarding this decision with Outlook Business, Rajeev Kapur, MD of Steelbird Helmets, said the growing market demand primarily influenced the decision to establish a new plant in Hosur in South India. The company also wants to cater to the aftermarket and demand from various South India-based Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). It already collaborates with national OEMs, including Yamaha, Royal Enfield, TVS and Ola Electric.
“Moreover, consumers are switching to ISI-approved branded helmets as they understand the importance of using quality helmets in saving lives compared to unbranded helmets,” he added. Steelbird Helmets plans to leverage Hosur’s well-connected road and rail networks for seamless transportation of raw materials and finished products, making its supply chain more efficient in South India.
In addition to the Hosur plant, the company is expanding its existing facility in Himachal Pradesh’s Baddi region. Kapur revealed that it will invest Rs 105 crore to increase the daily production to 50,000 units, up from the current 30,000 units.
According to Mordor Intelligence, the Indian two-wheeler market size is estimated to reach $347.41 billion by 2029, growing at a 3.03% CAGR from 2024 to 2029. Kapur pegs the unit sales to touch 25 million units by 2025.
This surge in demand for two-wheelers translates to a rising demand for helmets. Moreover, enforcing mandatory helmet usage nationwide has led to spikes in product demand.
Under the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, it is obligatory for two-wheeler riders to wear helmets. Amended in 2019, Section 129 of the Act mandates headgear for individuals above four years. Moreover, these helmets must be securely strapped and made for optimal protection, and violators face a Rs 1000 fine and potential three-month license suspension under Section 194D.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that from 2002 to 2017, over 25,000 lives were saved because the riders wore helmets. However, several riders choose to avoid it, claiming that it makes them feel claustrophobic or even causes headaches following continuous use in a hot environment.
To overcome these issues, Steelbird invests in research and development of new helmet technologies, materials, and features, offering consumers better safety and comfort. “This year, we are launching about ten new helmets, including those made with carbon fibre, built-in Bluetooth and high-end variants costing about Rs 15000 to Rs 20,000,” Kapur stated.
The company’s expansion plans also include growing its pan-India distribution network. It currently has about 200 outlets and hopes to open 1000 by 2025.