Piaggio India recently reached an interesting milestone with the rollout of its 2.5 millionth small commercial vehicle (SCV) from the assembly line of the Baramati manufacturing plant. Diego Graffi, MD & CEO, Piaggio Vehicles Private Limited, definitely looked a very happy man when I started the conversation with him talking about this milestone at his office in Pune. I was actually keen to know what the next milestone would be on Piaggio’s horizon. Graffi was equally happy to answer that but only after talking about the first milestone! “It is very exciting, and a matter of pride for us at Piaggio. Piaggio started its journey in India in 1998.
So, reaching this milestone in a timespan of two decades is indeed a big achievement. Not many automotive companies are able to do this. For us, it does not just mean that we are capable of producing 2.5 million vehicles, but it also means that we are able to satisfy 2.5 million customers. Therefore, this is definitely a very big feat. It is also a big motivation for us to try and reach the next goal of 3.5 million vehicles in the shortest time possible. I think with the base that we have created so far, it will be much faster than what it took to reach us 2.5 million vehicles,” he shared with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.
Piaggio is also known as a premium two-wheeler brand while being a leader in the SCV segment in India. These two are completely different ends of the spectrum. So, I wanted to understand how difficult it would be to balance between these two roles. Graffi had a good explanation. He said: “If you look at the two major product brands representing these two segments – Vespa and Apé, these have been present not just here in India but also across the world.
These two brands and the products have been used by customers since a very long time with the same aim and same mission of satisfying customers. It is true that both products entered India at different times – Apé came about twenty years ago while Vespa arrived just a few years back. However, while we have introduced these brands at two different historical moments, they come with the same legacy. But you are right in saying that it must difficult to balance between the dual role since they have different usages and they are serving different customer base. What is important for us is to manage the customer experience with regards to both the segments and I think we have been doing it well.” So, what remains common between the two brands is the level of technology, Italian design and styling as well as Piaggio’s aim to provide great customer experience.
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“I am hoping that the revenue share of exports will cross 25 percent in the next 18 months to 24 months.”