Will Butler-Adams believes it’s imperative that bikes become the world’s primary mode of transport. Speaking to Michael Hayman on Capital Conversation, the CEO of Brompton Bicycle says that with just 4% of London on bikes, the city’s cycling potential is being underplayed.
“Bikes lead to happier cities. In the 70s Berlin and Amsterdam had low cycling levels like us – now they’re at 25-30%. There was a vision.
He adds, “You need people who have a long-term view but our city is being driven by short-termism.”
Brompton looks to be the UK’s solution to a problem that other European countries have overcome in recent decades. Its iconic folding bikes are well-suited to an increasingly urbanised capital.
“We need to change how we live in this city and it needs to be designed around the people that live here,” Will says. “This means we need to live a life where we are moving and doing more exercise.”
The company’s growth has been huge under Will’s stewardship; changing the perceptions of how the company viewed success since his appointment as CEO in 2008. Brompton has increased its number of employees ten-fold, and its turnover from £2 million per year to more than £32 million in a decade.
The business continues to innovate as it looks to still boost the number of London cyclists, creating an environmentally-friendly bike that integrates artificial intelligence.
Will expects that with consumers becoming more conscious of the impact their products have on the environment, successful brands of the future must operate with purpose: “If you don’t care about this little blue dot that we live on, you won’t have any customers. They will find out and take their business to someone who does care”
You can watch the full episode here.