Devesh Purohit is a PR and Corporate Communications & Public Policy professional and a brand-building maven. In 2020 he turned a cyclist and has participated in group cycling activities of 100KM, 60KM, 50KM and 40KM in his town Valsad. As an advocate of Circular economics and Sustainability, he strongly recommends that cycling be adopted at a larger level for altruistic sustainability goals.
“Cycling is the new golf” is being used as a global corporate lingo. The United Nations advocates cycling as a climate smart means of transport to align with the Sustainable Development Goals. World Health Organization backs cycling of it being accessible, affordable and socially equitable in nature and communicates to the member nations to adopt this sustainable mode of transport. Cycling definitely has profound health and fitness benefits and it is eco-friendly and good for the planet, but it can be wisely used to leverage entrepreneurship and create a business impact. As of 2020, the Global Market Size of Bicycle Industry stood at USD 97.20 Billion.
Here are 6 of the Entrepreneurship and Management lessons one can leverage at Pedaling activity on a daily basis:
- Networking: If you join a cycling club or community in your locality, you will definitely meet and interact with people from varying backgrounds, socio economic class, experiences, age groups and work environment. With time you will also get in touch with clubs from other cities and regions or maybe of some other sport. Over a period of time, it will develop your outlook on consumer behavior, current trends, cultural roots and world view after all the agreements, disagreements, personal agendas, internal politics and other factors involved as you interact with the fellow members. Also being in touch as a fellow member on ground level with a set of audience will help you create trust and credibility and a personal touch to create a brand value for your venture.
- Lead Without Title: Being a part of a cycling community, you are not just a member but also a leader, even though not given any official position or title. This is because at times you will be making your decision, persuading the decisions and opinions of others and changing tactics when need arises and be resourceful. At times while navigating you will be the decision maker on certain solutions of which you would be an expert in your group. At varying occasions, you would be adopting different type of style like Democratic, Transactional, Delegative or Coaching. You will definitely be a Charismatic Leader for your brand as a representative.
- Cohesiveness and Team Building: A group tour and mission can be accomplished only through cohesiveness of all the members despite all the differences. D&I (Diversity and Inclusion) are the basics of the thriving organizations to survive in the globalized business market. At times you will be supporting or need an aid when your bicycle tire has a puncture, or you lose the track, or something is missing in your task. Only with the group support and unity a successful community or a club can run. Many cycling groups across the cities have their own uniform of jerseys, helmets and accessories. Being a part of a cycling community is a firsthand practical case study on community building and D&I.
- Social Advocacy: Brands and Organizations actively collaborate with cycling groups or cyclists as a marketing activity to promote their PR Agenda. It can be Women Empowerment, Anti-Drug Campaign, Girl Education, Organ Donation, Raising Funds for underprivileged or any other social issue. If your club or any brand in your knowledge is promoting any relevant social issue in which you strongly believe, you can join and communicate your personal ethos and values through action of participating and endorsing such causes. It will be a resourceful asset for personal profiling and brand building.
- Blue Ocean Strategy: As a holistic member of a cycling club, you won’t be participating to be a winner in some marathon but for fun, recreation, gratification, business growth and socializing. Your goals would be focused on personal and business growth so you would be away from the Red Ocean space and create a Blue Ocean platform where you are growing, and some day six degrees of separation will help you achieve your business goals.
- Public Relations: PR is gaining goodwill and strengthening associations for synergies. You learn to represent your brand and business as a thought leader, analyze the synergies with other members and build power corridors for self and your brand as a lobby and leverage the opportunities and associations. With the established trust and goodwill, you will earn third-party endorsements with your fellow members and you would too be promoting the other brands.
As cycling is eco-friendly and favorable for a healthy lifestyle, Corporates and Industries should encourage their employees to commute to workplaces on pedal and provide incentives. Government authorities can, too, provide subsidies and encourage the use of environment-friendly mode of transport.