The Original ‘Make In India’ Project

In 1949, a very young India was trying to find its place in the world after attaining freedom at the stroke of midnight just a couple of years earlier.

It was a India that was in a hurry to attain self-sufficiency, to claim its legitimate place in a new world order that was still emerging from the smouldering ashes of World War II and to become a moral force in a world that was getting increasingly polarised by the geo-political realities that emerged at the end of the war. To realise the dreams and aspirations of millions of free Indians, the wheels of the nation needed to be set in motion.

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It was against this backdrop, the fledgeling Indian Army was on the hunt for motorcycles for its soldiers for patrolling the borders. After weighing the options and testing, the Royal Enfield was considered as the right choice. That marked the start of a trusted bond that only grew stronger with the passage of time.

By 1955, the Indian Army needed to replace its entire fleet of motorcycles that mainly consisted of the ageing and unreliable Triumphs and BSAs. Once again, the nation placed its faith in Royal Enfield.

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To meet the growing demand for Royal Enfield motorcycles from the Indian Army and other security forces, it became necessary that the bike is manufactured in India.

Thus began the saga of the original “Make In India” story at Madras Motors in Chennai, which was then known as Madras.

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