American cult bike manufacturer Harley-Davidson plans to open its skills centre, which it calls the ‘Harley-Davidson University’, in India to train its employees and dealership staff. Apart from technical training, the Harley-Davidson University also offers a variety of courses ranging from management to finance and branding. Currently, the US-based firm has three such universities in the Asia Pacific region. It is planning to open the fourth here at the national capital.
“We will continue to invest in people and resources here (India). An example of that is Harley-Davidson University which we are going to open here in Delhi in next few weeks,” Harley-Davidson India and China MD Peter MacKenzie told PTI.
The upcoming entity would offer both technical and non-technical training to its employees and dealership staff from across the country, he added.
“Our university caters only to the Harley-Davidson community,” MacKenzie said.
When asked what kind of education would be offered at the university, he said: “There would be a technical course. Also, a variety of courses ranging from management to finance and branding would be offered as part of the non-technical training.”
MacKenzie, however, did not share details of the number of faculty or people that will be employed at the institute.
Harley-Davidson has been present in India since 2009, selling a range of models, including Street 750 and Street Rod. Its current portfolio comprises 14 models which are retailed from 27 dealerships.
Commenting on the company’s long term strategy for India, MacKenzie said the iconic bike maker wishes to be “more accessible and more relevant” in the market at New Delhi.
With an aim to widen its reach, MacKenzie said the company is expanding its dealer presence here.
“Besides we continue to bring great products to enable both current and future customers to remain engaged with the brand,” he said.
He added that the Harley-Davidson brand continues to grow in India and as part of future strategy the company is also focusing at non-urban areas to bring in more customers.
The bike maker has come up with various initiatives to achieve its goal to connect with prospective customers even in remote areas.
“Quite often there is large distance between the dealerships so we have a mobile truck which is basically a mobile store which we can take to remote locations and engage people to interact with the brand. We started doing it last year and continue to do this year as well,” MacKenzie said.
The company also encourages its dealers to move to areas where there is no brand representation and do things like pop up stores, engage people and gauge their interest, he said.