“Let’s do it on our own.” These words used by Brij Mohan Lal Munjal as recalled by his son in his latest book, The Making of Hero, can be seen as the point of inception of the story of Hero Cycles in India. Back in 1944, when a handful of foreign companies controlled the whole market for cycle parts manufacturing, Brij Mohan Lal Munjal decided to start local manufacturing of the cycle parts rather than relying on the imported parts.
It is also interesting to note that the actual owner of the brand ‘Hero’ was Kareem Deen who was one of the suppliers of bicycle saddles to the Munjal family. However, on knowing Kareem Deen to be moving to Pakistan, Mr. Om Prakash Munjal casually asked him if Munjals can use his brand name. Just like that, Munjals were allowed to use Hero which has changed the two-wheeler industry in India.
By autumn of 1968, Hero Cycles had crossed production of 1.25 lakh cycles in that year. This was no small feat achieved by an Indian company then.
Come 1985, the Hero group took another major step and formed a joint venture with the Japanese Automobile giant Honda to create motorcycles. Hence, Hero Honda was born. The company’s logo (shown hereunder) was an amalgamation of the logos of two companies with a sunrise represented under the convex ‘H’ logo of Honda. It was significant of the dawn of a new era in motorcycle manufacturer in India. The prominence and popularity of the logo grew in the Indian landscape as the company went on to become the largest motorcycle manufacturer of not only India but the world for six years in a row.
Cut to the year 2011, Hero and Honda decided to explore the Indian market on their own and winded up one of the most successful joint ventures in the automobile industry. Everyone expected the bigger fish to eat the smaller fish, that Honda would eventually buy Hero out and take over the company. But the words of Brij Mohan Lala Munjal resound through the Hero Group again, “Let’s do it on our own”. So, Hero MotoCorp was incorporated with a fresh ideology and a new logo. The Hero MotoCorp. mark has been meticulously designed, without an inch being left to chance. Every corner and edge has been created for a reason. Today Hero MotoCorp. is a motorcycle manufacturer that has built itself to identify with the middle and upper-middle class of the country. From its omnipresent model like Splendour to high-end racing-type bikes like Xtreme, the company has catered to customers across the economic spectrum.