Ashish Singh Joshi : On A Mission To Modernize Classic Motorcycling Globally | CEOInsights Vendor
Ashish Singh Joshi : On A Mission To Modernize Classic Motorcycling Globally

Ashish Singh Joshi : On A Mission To Modernize Classic Motorcycling Globally

 Ashish Singh Joshi ,   CEO

Ashish Singh Joshi


The two-wheeler industry is a dynamic and rapidly evolving sector that values continuous innovation. The industry's leaders play a key role in establishing trends and shaping the future, ensuring two-wheelers continue to be an integral part of the global mobility solution.

In this issue we sit down with Ashish Singh Joshi, CEO of Classic Legends, and custodian of three iconic motorcycle brands - Jawa, Yezdi and BSA motorcycles. Thanks to his Armed Forces background, love for all things automotive came early on in Ashish’s life. Adulthood introduced him to road trips on motorcycles, and his penchant for physics only made gravitating towards a career in the two-wheeler industry easier.

In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights, Ashish Singh Joshi shines light over his three decade long professional journey from an engineer to a business leader who is helping shape the world’s largest two wheeler market with the help of Jawa Yezdi Motorcycles, and BSA Motorcycles. We trace his previous experience with brands like Royal Enfield and Triumph, and his unique play at revolutionizing the performance-classic motorcycle market in India.

Give a brief account of your educational background and professional experience.

The truth is, as a young boy, my dream was to serve in the Indian Army like my father. However, life had other plans. But from an early age, I took a liking to physics. I loved understanding the mechanics of life, and coming from an army background, I learnt to ride and drive at an early stage of my life. Hence the building blocks for this career were all there early on.

I am an electrical engineer from VNIT Nagpur. After graduating in 1993, I spent three years working with Essar Steel before enrolling for the PGDM program at IMT Ghaziabad. And it is here where the second spark was lit, because it is here that I found my creative side in marketing. Shortly after, Royal Enfield recruited me, where I spent over 12 years handling various function across verticals.
Later, I pursued an MBA from London Business School following which I was appointed as the Managing Director – India, at Triumph Motorcycles in the UK. But soon enough, destiny came calling and in 2016, the Mahindra Group appointed me as CEO of Classic Legends, the custodian of legendary brands like Jawa, Yezdi and BSA. Here, I oversee business plans, investments, and negotiations.

I believe in continuously experimenting new ways of doing things. Fail if necessary. Learn from mistakes & use them to propel oneself forward

How has been your path to success and what is your success mantra?

There’s no easy path to success, but there are some fundamentals that will make the journey a lot easier. First, learn to identify and seize opportunities. Life will not give them a big neon sign, so it is critical to identify, and embrace opportunities even if they arrive in a not-so-convenient manner. For example, my early days at Royal Enfield had me juggle more technical roles.

But one day, in came a call from HO offering a role of brand and product manager, in Chennai. The choice was hard, continue this about settled life in Delhi or uproot everything and go learn some thing new in a new city with a new culture. I am glad that I chose the harder path, this decision propelled my career forward, leading to positions in inter-national markets and, eventually, the establishment of Classic Legends.

Second, always try, the tenacious are always rewarded. Never let fear limit your courage to challenge the impossible. Back in 2018 when we launched Jawa, the 350cc motorcycle market remained unchallenged by industry giants. In comes India’s youngest automotive manufacturer and merely five years since us, the segment has attracted multiple new players. We look to do the same with BSA once again.

The last thought I would like to leave you with is, understanding that both, work and life are balanced on a scale that is perpetually tipping. It is important to determine what is most important at each stage of your career or life and allowing it to happen without fretting over it. For instance, in my twenties, prioritizing work paved the way for a very nourishing professional life, I learnt a lot. Success comes from making the right decisions and maintaining a balance that aligns with your goals.
Give a brief account of your flagship offerings. What are the value additions the customers can expect from your offerings?

I manage three icons-Jawa, Yezdi, and BSA. Jawa, originally a Czech brand, became popular in India in the 1960s and 1970s before evolving into Yezdi. BSA, or Birmingham Small Arms, started making motorcycles in 1910, and now, it is proudly made in India, for the world. Our models include the Jawa350, Jawa42, Jawa42 Bobber, Jawa Perak, Yezdi Adventure, Yezdi Scrambler, Yezdi Roadster, and the BSA Goldstar 650. Our motorcycles are recognized for their design, performance, and handling. We prioritized customer centricity, our nationwide Mega Service Camp, an industry-first, is a classic example of how we ensured customer satis-faction and peace of mind.

What advice would you give to budding industry leaders?

If you are getting into the two-wheeler industry, be prepared for an exciting ride - literally and figuratively. India is rapidly developing, and the market for two wheelers is thriving. This upward mobility of aspiring India will fuel the industry for years to come. My advice to aspiring leaders is to fully immerse themselves in the experience. Ride a motorcycle because you enjoy it, not because you must. Understanding the thrill and challenges of riding enables you to connect with your customers better. Choose this path because you are passionate about it, not solely for career reasons. Genuine enthusiasm and dedication are essential for success in this industry.

Ashish Singh Joshi, CEO, Classic Legends

Ashish Singh Joshi's lifelong love of motorcycles stems from his upbringing and early interest in engineering. Ashish is the CEO of Classic Legends (Jawa Yezdi Motorcycles and BSA Motorcycles) and has extensive experience with iconic motorcycle brands such as Triumph, and Royal Enfield. His vision is to make world-class, classic motorcycles in India, for the world. Previously, MD of Triumph, he oversaw the brand's expansion into emerging markets. Ashish's diverse leadership roles have honed his expertise across multiple functions in the motor cycle industry.

•Hobbies: Riding, Reading, Physics, and Collecting Pens

•Favourite book: Skin in the Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

•Favorite Travel Destination: A trip to Positano, Italy, and riding along the Amalfi coast

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