The turbine team had the chance to sit down and talk to one of the directors of the Runner Automobiles and got to learn about his vision for the company
I am Amid Sakif khan I am one of the director of Runner automobiles. I look after the marketing segment, from the flashy branding to the sales, retail and almost everything. I graduated from BRAC University majoring in marketing and did my masters from the Greenwich University in London and did my major on strategic marketing.
How did the vehicles change commuting?
The motorcycle industry is an interesting industry, some people use it commercially and some use it personally but most use it personally. When ride sharing got introduced to Bangladesh some people used it professionally. For me two wheelers are the best fit for this busy city for commuting and are very efficient and for long commute other transportations are far more comfortable.
What kind of problems does a manufacturer like Runner face?
The government is supplementing the progressive manufacturers and is planning to provide more facilities. For manufacturers out of Dhaka it takes 3-6 months to get the full license but you can get it in a short time if you are in Dhaka, the time period should be same for everyone regardless where you come from you can get the learners license in a day from anywhere in Bangladesh but why can you not get the full license in the same time people from Dhaka are getting it. There are little or no problems that we are facing.
What is your expectation for the 2020 Budget?
We hope that the government will categorize the outputs and place different taxes on them and that taxpayers ‘ funds will be used, as well as that the government will produce better trained police / traffic officers that will minimize road difficulties. Of reality, the government has better plans than me.
There is a cc limit in our country in the earlier days bikes more than 155 cc bikes were not allowed in the country. But later, the cc limit was increased to 165 cc please give your opinion on this
The cc of a bike has no problem with commuting, some ministries told that there were no problems but some ministries also stated that the higher the cc of a bike the faster it would go making it more prone to accidents. The Royal Enfield is a 300cc bike but doesn’t cross the speed of 120 proving that the higher the cc doesn’t mean it will go faster. It all depends on the manufacturer and bike. The increase in cc from 155 to 165 didn’t change anything but if it was change to 200-300cc it would have been a different ball game. This is neither a good thing nor a bad thing to solve this issue the government and the people need to work together.
“We have our own research and development sector consisting of foreign engineers working alongside Bangladeshi”.
How Runner is holding the quality, where there are a lot of Indian and Chinese Bikes available in the market?
We have our own research and development sector consisting of foreign engineers working alongside with Bangladeshi. They carry out tests in the testing facility to maintain the quality, we give the best quality for the price and for every component a standard is maintained and we are always trying to improve. There is also a quality check, we test the bikes in a Dyno and after the results we decide if it is suitable for retail. Even our headlights and tail lights are tested.
As Runner has ensured the quality of their Scooter, who do you think are the targeted customers of it?
The Vespa is a lifestyle product; your Vespa is your Vespa. We don’t have a tagline like “let’s go” or something similar to that, the Vespa tagline is “let’s Vespa”. It is a niche market, it covers lifestyle and style.
Do the Indian Brands pose a threat for the Bangladeshi Manufacturers?
Yes, not only the Indian brands but there are also big Japanese brands operating in Bangladesh and they both have a great legacy the brands themselves are over 50+ years old or even 100+, these brands compete in the Moto GP. They are legends. Our company has a legacy of 10 years and we will mature eventually, our growth is more rapid than the starting Indian brands. Foreign manufacturers working here is an advantage for us because we can collaborate with them.
How do you differentiate Runner from its competitors ?
We produce affordable bikes; we target the person who wants to buy his or her first bike in a budget. We also have premium bikes which will be launched soon. We want to provide the people who ride bicycles or take the public transport with the best quality product in an affordable price and also we provide EMI.
What do you think about ensuring quality with minimum capital and maximum output?
As before, there is always a quality standard, so various bikes have different quality levels. The premium products are much better than the affordable products. The products are going to last for you and we plan to achieve the quality requirements.
What are your upcoming initiatives to capture the market ?
We are trying to introduce more new products by determining the market share of the products.
Which bikes do you love the most?
I love bikes, I grew up watching MOTO GP and I love the Yamaha r1. I love Valentine Rossi and love all the brands he associated with. I also love the Ducati Panigale even though I know I can never ride on it and another one I adore is the Kawasaki Ninja. I loved these growing up and still do.
Who are the people in your life that shaped the person you are today?
My father, he always motivates me to become a better human a professional person and always supports me. My family also supports me including my wife my cousins. I know if I follow him and his words I will become a better person.
Words: Syed Galib
Pictures: Syed Galib