“We, at Barrel Motors, aspire to develop high-performance electric transportation and continuously keep raising the bar for our passionate bikers.”
Giridhar Soundararajan (Founder & CEO, Barrel Motors)
Successful people always keep moving. Despite facing innumerable challenges, they never quit. Bearing testimony to this is Giridhar Soundararajan, who even after failing twice in developing mobile applications, quit his high paying job at HP and decided to follow his heart to build an enclosed two-wheeler to replace too many cars on the road. As he was truly passionate about it, he incepted Barrel Motors (formerly known as Barrel Exhaust) in 2014.
Giridhar realized that the easiest entry into the automotive field would be through aftermarket accessories. Therefore, Barrel Exhaust was built to be a premium brand of aftermarket exhausts for top brands like Royal Enfield, KTM, Bajaj, Aprilia and more.
With innovative & patented designs and build quality that met international standards clubbed with a never seen after-sales service, Barrel grew from selling in one city to witnessing sales in over 16 countries within just 3 years of its inception.
ABOUT THE FACE BEHIND BARREL MOTORS
As the Founder & CEO of Barrel Motors, Giridhar Soundararajan focuses on enabling his team to make sure that the outcome of every action brings happiness to the customers.
At Barrel Motors, Giridhar is responsible for managing the overall operations from delegating and directing agendas, to managing the organizational structure of the company.
He creates a positive culture, nurtures creativity, generates opportunities, removes any roadblocks that come in the way, serves the stakeholders, and builds an effective team.
THE INCEPTION TALE
Barrel Motors began its operations from the boot of the Founder’s car. Even after failing twice and going bankrupt, he built a company in the automotive sector. And he took the right decision. Within just 6 months with minimum sales and validation of the product-market fit, Giridhar was able to move into a 1 BHK commercial space to expand the operations further.
When the sales grew steadily, he borrowed some money and set up the first factory with only one lathe machine in May 2016. In just 2 years, a full-fledged factory was in place and was manufacturing end-to-end to have control over quality. To expand further, Barrel opened 3 dealerships in international locations i.e., Vietnam, Australia & Thailand apart from selling online to over 16 countries.
THE BARRELING EXPERIENCE
The team at Barrel Motors specializes in creating high performing exhaust systems and accessories like racing handlebars and crash protectors for the riders. Barrel is more of a lifestyle brand for bikers across the globe and calls it ‘The Barreling experience’.
“At Barrel, we are working towards creating happy bikers through our world-class accessories and the experience we deliver to the bikers. Whether it is an exhaust system or electric motorcycle, our sole objective is to put a smile on the riders’ faces,” says Giridhar.
The highly skilled and experienced team at Barrel electric is focused on building an electric motorcycle that will meet the urban and the adventure needs of the biker. Primarily focused on the 18-35-year-old, Barrel electric aims to be the Number 1 choice for passionate bikers.
The electric team is made up of Founding Engineers from Ather, former Mahindra engineers, and a bunch of young and dynamic engineers who love working in the field of motorcycles and automobiles.
A WORTHWHILE PROJECT
During a racing event at Kolhapur, Maharashtra, in which Barrel Motors was among the sponsors, Aprilia factory got fascinated by Barrel’s products and approached the company to develop a rally exhaust system for the Aprilia Scooter.
The quick-witted team at Barrel Motors took it upon itself and created a wonderful racing exhaust system that even caught the attention of the Piaggio India CEO. The Piaggio two-wheeler R&D team also approved Barrel’s exhaust system to be used in their rally season of 2018. That rally season, team Aprilia used Barrel Exhaust to defeat the TVS Scooter team and finally crowned itself as the champions.
To boast further, Piaggio launched a new variant of the SR Rally Scooter for the dealers in Goa with a Barrel Exhaust muffler on it. This project, therefore, helped Barrel Motors in building its brand name across the entire country.
OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES
The manufacturing business is definitely not a cakewalk. Barrel Motors had its fair share of hurdles to overcome. The biggest one was getting a skilled workforce and retaining them. Outsourcing most of the manufacturing work to reliable vendors acted as a great move in solving the issue.
Another challenge is the continuous increase in the cost of raw materials, especially for Small and Medium-sized businesses.
“The only way out for businesses that are SME in nature is to increase their selling costs to cover the expenses or explore new markets and new product lines. We have implemented these options to mitigate the rising costs of manufacturing. Our increased focus on the export market and the development of new products by the R&D unit will help us enter new markets and brands with premium pricing,” explains Giridhar.
THE MISSION STATEMENT
The aim of Barrel Motors is to develop high-performance electric transportation and continuously keep raising the bar. The team is capable and determined enough to change the face of transportation for a better future.
THE MILESTONES COVERED
Since the company’s inception, Barrel Motors is driving itself with a vision of creating happy bikers. Therefore, any appreciation it gets from its customers is nothing less than an award. Giridhar always cherishes the recognition that Barrel Motors got from Piaggio India and the invitation received to visit their R&D Team and the launch of their SR Rally Scooter with a Barrel Exhaust on it. The launch of a dream Barrel Motors R&D unit in 2020 in Bangalore is another milestone to boast of.
Today, Barrel Motors is backed by a few angel investors and intellectual minds, helping the brand to grow expansively and create a future that is fun and exciting to ride.