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Thread: Indian women get on their scooters

  1. #1
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    Default Indian women get on their scooters

    Nagpur’s Just 4 Her is a light and airy retail space, with bright fluorescent green walls, and attentive young saleswomen. Its colourful merchandise is displayed prominently in the store windows to lure passers-by. Inside, mirrors are everywhere – so women can envision how they would look with the goods on offer.



    But Just 4 Her is not a fashion boutique selling stylish clothing, jewellery or other typical women’s accoutrements. It is one of 20 showrooms across India dedicated exclusively to selling Hero Honda’s Pleasure, a motor-scooter designed for women – who are taking to two wheels in ever growing numbers.

    It is nothing short of a transportation revolution in India’s conservative middle class society, where many women still depend on husbands or brothers to shepherd them around.

    “It’s the need of the hour,” says Rushalli Kullarwar, a 50-year-old housewife, who is to buy her own Pleasure, after years of sharing a scooter with her husband. “Ladies are realising that in these rushed days, driving is essential.”

    Hero Honda, the largest two-wheeler manufacturer in the world, unveiled Pleasure in 2006, during a time of dramatic change in a two-wheeler market once dominated by scooters such as Bajaj’s Chetak, which was recently discontinued.

    Although two-wheeler sales were rising a brisk 15 per cent annually, scooters had plunged to just 10 per cent of the market as men embraced heavier, more macho motorcycles.

    But the joint venture between Honda and India’s Hero Group realised that women – who have been streaming into the workforce – would struggle to manage heavy motorbikes.

    “Women in India want to break free,” says Anil Dua, Hero Honda’s senior vice-president of sales and marketing. “They do feel kind of stuck to their homes, not finding it possible to do things men normally do. For this, personal transport becomes very relevant.”

    Instead of the usual heavy metal, Pleasure is made from lightweight industrial plastic. Whereas most Indian scooters are traditionally kickstart, Pleasure has an ignition key. Easy to put on and take off its parking stand, it comes in a range of colours including light purple, teal green and the ever-popular red.

    “Technical things, boys care about,” says Shubhada Phatankar, a 26-year-old lawyer, as she strolls through the Just 4 Her outlet with a friend, discussing options for her own first scooter purchase. “Colour is the most important thing for girls.”

    In marketing Pleasure, Hero Honda has appealed to young women with campaigns playing on India’s traditional restrictions on women and their activities, underlined by the brand’s punchy tagline “Why Should Boys Have all the Fun?”

    In one advertisement , Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra, the scooter’s brand ambassador, plays a village girl who takes a condescending prospective groom from the big city on a spin through the fields on her Pleasure scooter, before dumping him at the station and telling him to get back on the train.

    It is a message of female empowerment that Mr Dua says is “talking to the hearts of the women in this country who feel they don’t have a choice in their marriage”.

    But Hero Honda’s biggest innovation was to set up showrooms exclusively for women. Just 4 Her is staffed entirely by young saleswomen and intended to make customers feel comfortable – they can even take a test drive away from a male sales clerk’s condescending eyes.

    Pleasure scooters – which cost about Rs43,000 ($970) – account for about 26,000 of the more than 400,000 two-wheelers that Hero Honda sells each month. About 10 per cent of sales are made through the Just 4 Her showrooms.

    Pleasure’s success has prompted rivals to reach out to women, though most position their scooters as unisex.

    Mr Dua says Hero Honda will continue to nurture the female market: “There is a huge scope for Pleasure to go forward. You are raising that trigger in women’s psyches – ‘I see my brother or my husband having all the fun. Here is something that can make it possible for me.’”

    Source: http://www.esnips.com/doc/7798d840-f...URESH%20WADKAR

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    Super Moderator sunilg's Avatar
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    News approved.
    (Been There Done That) x 3.25

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    Thumbs up

    Great initiative by HH for luring the opposite sex.. Wish TVS puts in atleast half of this effort and puts up such showrooms in some metros rather than those CORNY "GO BABELICIOUS" ads in the TV once every five mins for their Scooty range of 2 Wheelers..
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    Can we have Urvashi Pataloe comment on the colour matters all bit :P
    Super CommuTOURer™ - Talk less, Ride more

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    “Technical things, boys care about,” says Shubhada Phatankar, a 26-year-old lawyer, as she strolls through the Just 4 Her outlet with a friend, discussing options for her own first scooter purchase. “Colour is the most important thing for girls.”
    This is a sad truth. Girls are getting fooled by this colormesh of today's media...

    I remember whenh I went to get some earphones in a Sony Showroom, a girl asked a Salesperson to show her a laptop that matches her purse color. I almost cracked laughing...

    They should atleast take journalists' opinions, if they don't understand technicals of any product.

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    the tvs "GO BABELICIOUS" ads in the best ad in the tv right now
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    finding god is easier than finding hidden spy cameras - Swami Nithyananda

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    Quote Originally Posted by satyenpoojary View Post
    Can we have Urvashi Pataloe comment on the colour matters all bit :P
    Shes the same one who got selected for the IndiaBikers 'Best Job in the World' contest for Mahindra?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    Shes the same one who got selected for the IndiaBikers 'Best Job in the World' contest for Mahindra?
    Yes, it would be interesting to get her veiws on the 'dumb girls' analogy... that despite she being a total 'crack head' - Pun intended!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samarth 619 View Post
    I remember whenh I went to get some earphones in a Sony Showroom, a girl asked a Salesperson to show her a laptop that matches her purse color. I almost cracked laughing...
    Why did you crack up laughing? I did not know that if you change the colour of the laptop, it will change the performance! But it will definitely look better at the way she is looking at the whole ensemble.
    The Wheel was a great invention; Two Wheels with a Motor in between was even better!


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    Actually I wanted something like bikes for the girls where they can choose their fav colours albeit)
    The rising petrol prices burn your pocket not your riding soul!



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