How a Manesar-based riding gear manufacturer is changing India’s helmet culture
Riders in India face the brunt of air pollution due to high particulate matter and harmful exhaust gases. Now, Mavox Helmets is fixing this scenario.
In the last few years, air pollution has become a serious cause of concern for India with several major cities regularly featuring among the world’s most polluted places. While car manufacturers have begun offering products with a particulate matter filter, two-wheeler users have no mechanism to save them from facing the brunt of air pollution.To change this scenario, Manesar-based Mavox Helmets has come up with a solution for two-wheeler riders – a helmet fitted with an activated carbon filter in the mouth vent. The Mavox FX30 claims to be able to filter up to 80 to 95 percent of pollutants.
This puts the Mavox FX30 a step ahead of the Vega Cara, which was launched last year with a particulate matter filter. However, the current product does not filter out ultra-small sized pollutants like PM2.5, but it may be on the cards for future models.
Second-generation entrepreneur Ayyushman Mehta started Mavox Helmets in 2017. Growing up in a household where the cars and bikes were discussed very frequently at the dinner table, Ayyushman was very keen to join the industry.In an interaction with AutoStory, Ayyushman says,
“Having travelled a lot, I found that helmets and other riding accessories was one segment lagging in India compared to Southeast Asian or European countries. India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world, and I think it is only right that our safety levels, design, and product quality should be at par, if not superior to the others. So, I took this as a mission and started this company. We believe that even if the customer is spending a thousand bucks, they should get the value of a Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 helmet.”
How it works
Riders face pollution all year round, often inhaling poisonous gases coming out of other vehicles. This can have adverse effects on one’s body. The Mavox FX30 comes with a built-in air filter, which can prevent this.Positioned at the mouth vent of the helmet, the filter is three to four millimetre thick. Air is sucked in through the activated carbon filter and passes through the helmet and exits from the rear exhaust ports. Made of polyurethane sponge with charcoal, the filter covers the entire area of the mouth vent to ensure no space is left to let any pollutant enter.To ensure you can use the same helmet for a long time, Mavox has come up with a simple solution. You can clean the air filter by yourself. All you have to do is remove the filter, dip in warm water for 15 minutes and dry it in the Sun.The company claims that the filter will have regained more than 90 percent of its efficiency. The founder tells us that each filter can be cleaned four times before you need a replacement.Mavox also aims to offer replacement air filters for the FX30 and upcoming affordable helmet range for a mere Rs 50.
New products and partnerships
Mavox officially entered the market this April after spending 12 to 18 months in getting its backend ready. The company has a 55,000 square feet facility in Manesar, and has collaborated with leading designers in France, Italy, and Spain for product and graphic designs.For machinery, the company has tied up with manufacturers in Japan, China, and Taiwan. Mavox also has an in-house test lab, spread over almost four thousand square feet, capable of handling different tests, including DOT and the revised ISI standards.The founder tells us that Mavox has been launching a new product almost every month. At present, it is focussing not only on adding new customers but also on entering new markets and expanding their product range.
Mavox has already marked its presence in Nepal and will be expanding to Bangladesh later this month. In terms of tie-ups with motorcycle manufacturers, the company has penned a deal with Suzuki to provide helmets for the Gixxer SF 250, a quarter-litre motorcycle launched in India in May 2019.Ayyushman says that the company has also tied up with Revolt Intellicorp, founded by Rahul Sharma of Micromax fam,e to supply special Bluetooth enabled helmets for India’s first artificial intelligence (AI) enabled electric motorcycle – the Revolt RV400 – launched in August 2019In addition, it is in talks with Royal Enfield, Hero MotoCorp, and Honda 2Wheelers India and the founder expects to clinch these deals by the end of this year.Sign up for NewslettersCheck out our popular newsletters and subscribeDropdownMarket and competitionIndia is the largest two-wheeler market in India and the market is full of competition. Companies like Steelbird have been in the market for over five decades with several tie-ups with manufacturers not just in India, but across the world.Taking on competitors like these is not easy, but Mavox has an ace up its sleeve. Its helmets are compliant with the updated ISI regulations as well as the European Safety Norms ECE 22.05 – one of the most widely accepted standards worldwide, seen as one of the strictest safety certifications in the world.The latter adds significant brownie points in terms of safety and not something we see in a helmet manufactured in India at a price tag of under Rs 3,000.However, Mavox will be concentrating on ISI standard helmets for now. The company claims to be offering better designs and products that are not only comfortable and stylish but also safe and affordable. It also offers premium features like removable and washable interiors which will help users keep their helmet clean and odour free.Keeping the economical segment in mind, Mavox will also be launching new entry-level full-face helmets soon to be priced between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,100 with different variants.An air filter variant will be launched based on this range and will be priced almost half of the present flagship. The company also plans to introduce a more expensive graphics variant.