Three decades ago when Manjeev Bhogal’s father brought a aeromodelling kit for his son he might have not imagined in his wildest dreams that along with keeping up the family name in cycle business, Manjeev will also make it so big in the aeromodelling industry. Manjeev took to flying plane models from a young age and even used to encourage people around him to take to aeromodelling and flying as a hobby. He also trained people free of cost.
Narrating about how he made a foray in this field, Manjeev says “During my stint as an NCC cadet, some officers sent a soldier to me to train him to fly an airplane model. In due course, the soldier told me that the aeromodels being used by the Army were very costly and imported from other countries. It was then that I thought of trying my hand at manufacturing them for the defence forces as I was already assembling these for my fellow aeromodelling lovers on no profit basis.”
Starting from making a limited number of models for sale, Bhogal today is one of the biggest manufacturer of composite & fibreglass aeromodels. “In 2004-2005, we formed Bhogal Aero Tech that till date is the largest supplier of fibreglass aeromodels to the defence forces. These are used for training and surveillance purposes.”
It runs in the blood
It has been more than 70 years now that Bhogals are into cycle business and are known faces of the cycle industry. However, now aeromodelling business is also being taken up by the future Bhogal generations besides running the family business. Latest to join in is Manjeev’s newphew Naminder Bhogal, who has completed his aircraft maintenance engineering (AME). “Like cycle business, aeromodelling also runs in our blood. My father was also very fond of flying aeromodels and right from the age of 10 Naminder, too, is into flying these models. He was an expert even in his childhood,” Manjeev says , adding, “Since I didn’t get any kind of training in this field, we ensured that Naminder enters this business with full professional training.”