Big Biking Commune - An Umbrella for Motorcycling Community

India is the largest market for two wheelers in the world and it is only natural that the roads are overwhelmed with a majority of the population using it for commuting within the city for work and mobility. But in this melee we find another large group of riders who are driven by their passion for motorcycling and use their bikes to journey long distances not just within their State but across the country and also are brave enough to cross borders on their motorcycles.

You will find them as part of large motorcycling clubs or even solo riders or a group of friends going on long rides on their motorcycles and increasingly many large motorcycle brands have also moved into this space to organize formal and large rides for their customer base.

Big Biking Commune has created one of the largest, strongest and the most trusted network of motorcycle riders from across regions in India bringing them together as part of one large community. Read this article to know more about Big Biking Commune, a Bangalore based startup founded by Arun Kumar.

Big Biking Commune - Company Highlights

  • Startup Name-Big Biking Commune Pvt Ltd
  • Headquarter-Bangalore, India
  • Sector-Motorcycling / Touring / Cruising category
  • Founder-Arun Kumar
  • Founded-2018
  • Parent Organization-Big Biking Commune Pvt Ltd

About Big Biking Commune and How it Works

Big Biking Commune is one of the largest aggregator platform for the motorcycling community in India and worldwide, catering to the Touring, Cruising, Off-roading and Adventure Motorsports. The Big Biking Commune is the ‘Go To Destination’ that brings together passionate bikers, motorcycle brands, riding clubs, Accessories, Custom and Vintage bikes, bike rentals, bike tour operators and all related products and services under a single roof.

As a Commune the company is all about creating and curating new experiences for the motorcycling community, putting together events and entertainment to celebrate being a biker, networking and learning from experienced motorcyclists, checking out new motorcycles, discovering new biking trips and routes, meeting with new biking buddies and riding out together celebrating the essence of being a biker.

Big Biking Commune - Startup Launch

Big Biking Commune started out by hosting the first of its kind annual celebratory event for the motorcycling community in Mahabalipuram, India at a beach side private property in February 2019. The inaugural event attracted over 3500 bikers from over 150 biking clubs and had 25 of the top motorcycling influencers share their experience mixed with some excellent stunt shows and off-roading experience.

The inaugural event witnessed big names like Maral Yazarloo (Queen of Motorcycling), K. P. Arvind, Rajini Krishnan, Bullet Bose and many more well known names in the motorcycling community talking part in this festival.

The response to our inaugural event was overwhelming with motorcycle enthusiast cutting across clubs, brands and individuals, all finding a common bonding under our platform. This has encouraged us to think big and look beyond the horizon and go unconventional, says Arun Kumar, Founder of Big Biking Commune.

Since then, the Big Biking Commune has curated a unique branded proposition. Today, it has become one of the largest aggregator platforms earning the trust and goodwill of the biking community. They have created one of the largest networks of bikers bringing together clubs, bike brands, individual riders, biking influencers as a binding force in the category.

Our founding vision now is to create the biggest experiential motorcycling commune benchmarked amongst the best as a globally leading brand; today we have aspirations to take the brand offering beyond India and into the global markets - Arun Kumar.

Big Biking Commune - Target Market Size

Big Biking Commune is operating in a informal and fractured market category (Clubs, solo riders, Brand clubs), there are no structured reported numbers, but working on guess estimates, they are working on putting some researched numbers and structuring the category in an organised manner. Having said that, they are working with the information available on motorcycle sales figures in their category.

"For example we know that there are around 3.5 million Royal Enfield motorcycles on the road and they continue to sell over 7 lakhs motorcycles annually. Similarly we know that Bajaj has sold over 2.5 million motorcycles in our category (Pulsar, Dominar, Avenger) and continues to add over 1.5 million more annually to the market size, likewise TVS Motors sells over 5 lakhs Apaches every year. And if we add in the international brands in our category like Harley, Indian, Triumph, KTM, Kawasaki, Ducati, Benelli, Suzuki, Yamaha (in the 200 cc and above category), we know that we are sitting on a sizeable growing market” says the Founder.

But on the other side they have built a database of motorcycle clubs. At present they have over 2,500 clubs on their database and given the average of around 25 members per club, that gives them a reach of around 62,500 bikers who are in their category.

How was Big Biking Commune Started?

The promoter and founding partner of the Big Biking Commune, Arun Kumar comes with over 20 plus years in the event and activation industry. Having worked for brands like Hero Motors, Honda Motors, TVS Motors handling their commuter side of the business, he wanted to create, own and run his own brand IP and leave behind a legacy that people will remember him by.

The inspiration to do something in this category came from observing that every weekend all the highways out of Bangalore had bikers zipping in and out for rides in large numbers. That is when he woke up to this opportunity and started looking at this rage more keenly.

Some more research showed that events like India Bike Week and Riders Mania had over 5000 bikers assemble for a 3 day celebration and festivities. And brands were trying to streamline a club format activity for their customers like the HOG, Dominar, Apache, KTM etc. Their first inaugural festival (under the Big Biking Commune) was held at Mahabalipuram in a 40 acre resort. They got over 3500 bikers attending the fest and revelling in the biking brotherhood.

Big Biking Commune - USP and Innovation

Big Biking Commune is coming up with a technology based app that will become a single point of convergence for the biking community. It will bind all stakeholders and ecosystem partners on one side and bring in all the bikers onto the platform, building on a strong and robust networking model for the commune.

The uniqueness of the app is that it will be a neutral face for everyone (irrespective of the bike or brand or rider) to find common ground to engage with each other across different products, services and solutions. They understands the existing pain points in the community and also the offerings from mobile apps which fall short on important biding points which they will be addressing.

Apart from the app, they have created and curated unique brand properties like the 'MotoYoga Day' which combines Motorcycle Day and Yoga day together (June 21st) and highlights the importance of a strong body while going out on long rides. India Tourism took interest in this proposition and supported the Yoga camp for motorcyclists in Chennai and Bangalore.

Silarly, the WOW rides (World on Wheels) got Tourism Malaysia interested in typing up with them to promote tourism destination on motorcycles in their country.

Emboldened by the positive response from the tourism sector, their Motorcycle Tourism Summit will be the first such initiative in the world that will open up a new category in the tourism sector and make people take notice of the opportunity motorcycling can offer to the growth of the tourism market.  

Founders of Big Biking Commune and team

The Big Biking Commune has been initially funded in-house under parent company Axiom Gen Nxt Pvt Ltd who have infused the initial funds to get off the ground. The firm is owned by Arun Kumar who himself is the leading role model and ideator of the Big Biking Commune and inspiration for the core team.

They trademarked the brand name and formed a private limited company under the same name Big Biking Commune Pvt Ltd looking at the opportunity and recognizing the need to create a separate legal entity to build and grow this market. 

Arun Kumar, Founder and Convenor Big Biking Commune

Arun Kumar, the Founder Director is a self made businessman having started Below the Line activations and events way back in the late 1990’s. He has worked long and hard to build one of the largest activation companies in India with branches in 5 cities and a staff strength of around 30 people. Today Big Biking Commune has become his most passionate work and he devotes maximum time to shape and structure the brand and realize its potential.

(L to R) The team - R  Ramasubramaniyan (Co-Founder and Brand Architect), Arun Kumar (Founder and Convenor), Krishnan Iyer (Co-Founder), Madhu Narayan (CEO), Samuel Thomas (Co-Founder)

(L to R) The team - R Ramasubramaniyan (Co-Founder and Brand Architect), Arun Kumar (Founder and Convenor), Krishnan Iyer (Co-Founder), Madhu Narayan (CEO), Samuel Thomas (Co-Founder)

He is joined by the other Co-founder R. Ramasubramaniyan who comes with over 30 years of experience in the Marcom domain. As the Brand & Tech Architect, he is tasked with shaping the brand direction and creating values in several sub-brands and is also driving the technology architecture to give Big Biking Commune the edge it needs to bring in some path breaking initiatives in the motorcycling community.

Big Biking Commune - Name, Tagline, and Logo

The name Big Biking Commune came up after they were toying around the idea of what name to keep for their event and after running through many names the thoughts kept coming back to the original name Big Biking Commune.

Firstly, we wanted a name that would work across geographies. So we avoided anything regional or local. Also, we were clear that while addressing the biking community, we wanted the bigness of the idea of bringing them all under a single umbrella, hence BIG and also we wanted to avoid a limited club format, hence the broader name Commune fitted in well and thirdly anybody who does biking becomes part of the commune making it Big. So all these thought process took us to the same destination – Founder, Big Biking Commune.

As for the logo look and feel, they looked at a few international events like the Sturgis, Daytona, Phuket bike week etc and knew that they wanted a rugged, sturdy and macho kind of brand design.

The retro handle bar and headlight design with the BIG taking more space, the side wings meaning riders can aspire to more and the Commune as an integral part of the logo unit. Keeping it to simple black and white with a dash of red at the bottom gave the logo its final look and feel they wanted. Today it has grabbed attention very fast amongst the biker community and is one of the fastest brand setting new benchmarks for biker experience in such a short time.

Big Biking Commune - Business Model and Revenue Model

Events and experiences – Their flagship event and other interim events will attract sponsor money.

Technology & App – This is a long term game plan, where initially they will onboard bikers into the app and integrate rides and activities through the app. They are also creating multiple revenue models around the app like ticket sales, merchandise sale, sponsored rides, in-app adverts etc which will grow as the base grows.

Network platform – As one of the largest aggregator, once we have all sides of the game on the table, the upside revenue stream from multiple platform and network effect will fully open up the revenue potential with e-commerce, market place models, referral streams and many such innovative initiatives on the plate.

Big Biking Commune - Growth

They launched their flagship biker festival and the inaugural event saw over 3500 bikers take part in it. And today Big Biking Commune have access to over 2,500 biking clubs. Not being complacent, they also reached out to over 100 biking community influencers.

They also got the support from sponsors like the Tamil Nadu Tourism, Apollo tyres, TVS Motors and many other biking brands and accessories who placed their faith and trust in the concept and took part in a first of its kind event in Mahabalipuram.

"The journey has been brutal and tough and we weathered many a storm to come so far, the journey ahead also is not easy but we have now gathered a large base that looks at us to glue them together into a single commune and we are receiving more support each passing day from the biking fraternity. We have had more success from directly reaching out to bikers over a call and speaking to them, of late social media is getting a larger response from bikers who want to be part of our platform", says Arun Kumar, the founder of Big Biking Commune.

Big Biking Commune - User Acquisition

Nothing fanciful than directly speaking to the bikers has worked well for the company, till date they have not spend a single rupee to advertise on social media, all page fans are bikers (they have about 3000 page likes and growing), they believe in organic and genuine likes and they are going to stick to that method.

What has also worked for Big Biking Commune is the innovation they are bringing to this community in curating experiences. They are the only ones to first introduce Yoga to Motorcyclists and created a MotoYoga day for them. They also branded thematic rides called the WOW Rides (World on wheels) which saw some internationally acclaimed bikers on the ride.

They curated weekend ride called the Filter Kaapi ride for South Indian bikers. Like this the company is working on innovating in the category which is making them popular and bikers are reaching out to take part in these activities.

Big Biking Commune - Startup Challenges

The company did not see any major challenges so far, everything they did was organic and every biker they reached out to has never said no and in fact they also managed to pull in the 1960’s Sholavaram bikers (all septuagenarians) who shared their crazy days with the youngsters at the event. Big Biking Commune experimented with serious discussion, fun beach side activity, off-roading, stunt shows and exhilarating evening musicals which gave the ambience a festive tone.

Big Biking Commune - Future Plans

All these items are WIP (Work-In Progress), the team is still working with back of the envelope calculations and taking inputs from some mentors and advisors on the business side of the commune. However their plan stays firm with the focus on the annual Flagship event and they have bigger plans to take them global in the next couple of years. The app will be a tipping point which is what they are working on today.

"Our vision for the next five years leans heavily on taking our brand global, starting out with South East Asia by early next year (Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia and Indonesia are big markets for our category)."

They have already made some initial outreach into these markets in the last 6 months in building a strong network with biking clubs and are in touch with over 250 clubs and top bikers in these countries

We will then push on to Europe and USA (two of the biggest markets with large motorcycle communities). And in terms of growing the commune, we are looking at tapping corporate and college communities as they offer good potential for this format. More than anything else, we are keen to pursue the Tourism industry which is slowly waking up to the potential of leverage this new category to drive growth and promote tourism through motorcycling", quotes Arun Kumar.

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Big Biking Commune - Funding and Investors

The initial funding (seed and angel) has been in-house with the parent company holding the ship together. They are now working on the range and need for funds and calibrating their business plans to pitch to raise funds.

On a ballpark estimate they are looking to raise money in the 10 to 30 million USD range initially. But this also might get revised, all their plans are currently fluid and are being assessed in multiple formats across multiple business streams.

Big Biking Commune - Competitors

In terms of competition, Big Biking Commune do not have any. There are annual biker festivals like the India Bike Week and Rider Mania. Biking clubs do their own small get together and ride outs; no one has consolidated this space into a common commune platform, which is what they have done.

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