11 December 2019

Company Profile- BKT

Tyre titan

 

Off Highway tyre manufacturer BKT is poised to make the most of emerging opportunities as India fast tracks project development. 

The slight disruption in the online connection with Rajiv Poddar, Joint Managing Director, Balakrishna Industries Limited aka BKT Tyres during a media conference at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre did little to diminish what has now become its hallmark – oomph and enthusiasm which seems tireless. Come hell or high water – to be read as the economic decline of the previous years – the Mumbai based off highway tyre manufacturer has always been a star attraction at every trade show since 2005 in terms of its aggressive product display and marketing savvy.

So it was at the recently concluded Excon 2015 where as a key participant showcasing its marquee products – it was also the Event & Technology Partner – BKT was, as it were, reaching out to the universe with its new promotional campaign, with the theme ‘We Experience Being Part of Your World.’

 

FAIR ADVANTAGE

Like always the global Off Highway tyre producer, serving both the Original Equipment Manufacturers and the replacement market, has been making the most of the business opportunity the show presented.

Since its arrival in 1987 BKT has achieved critical mass and strength thanks to its lineup of 2300 different tire products which it manufactures for segments such as agriculture, industry, construction, port, mining, all terrain vehicles(ATV) and gardening applications.

If BKT is today a well known player internationally with a respectable share in the worldwide OHT market – evidence of it is a current sales volume of $712 million from four subsidiaries in Europe and North America – it also owes to the fact that the company has benchmarked its production standards with the best in the world. Commitment to quality, firm policies, correct unwavering decisions taken at the right time and quality human resources, competitive spirit, goodwill, confidence and trust with suppliers and customers have been the main factors for the BKT’s remarkable growth. The company is currently exporting to 130 countries around the globe via a network of national distributors who source from five state-of-the-art production sites in Aurangabad, Bhiwadi, Chopanki, Dombivali and Bhuj.

 

 

TECHNOLOGY BENEFIT

Poddar equates the success of his organisation to an ecosystem which permits belief in innate national potential – his version of India Shining. “There is no dearth of talent in this country whether in IT, services or manufacturing.” While attributing growth to quality human resources and an excellent team of employees he also underlines the contribution of Research & Development and technology.  An important concomitant of his organisation’s commitment to both company and national growth is its investment on R&D - the company expends a substantial per cent of its annual sales into R&D for product development. Its R&D Centre consists of more than 90 staff members including researchers, engineers and technicians working across various production sites, designing newer versions of tyres, developing new materials to improve product performance and to raise efficiencies of processes and product performance. BKT is in the process of adding one more R&D center at its new plant in Bhuj where vibration testing and noise level decibel testing can be done instead of sourcing tests from Italy. The facility will have 6 tracks for testing including a concrete track, an asphalt track, and a circular track. Other OEMs can bring their loaders, backhoes, and cranes for testing at the facility.

 

Thanks to the extensive emphasis on research and design activities as many as 60-80 new BKT tyres are designed and produced every year. Backed by strong product innovation and a stringent quality control, each tyre produced has to undergo over 450 rigorous tests. It then takes an average of 6-8 weeks to market a new BKT tyre globally.

 

“Talent for innovation is a core competency of the BKT Research and Development Division and one of our company’s strengths. Investments in R&D are a fundamental key to success to compete in a complex global market with rapidly evolving needs. For this reason, we invest substantial per cent of our annual sales into R&D. Customer satisfaction is our number one goal. It is the drive for our research engineers to develop always more enhanced Off-Highway tire solutions,” says Poddar.

 

NEW PRODUCTS 

The company’s latest launch of the 27.00 R49, the largest all steel radial tyre produced in India, can be viewed as evidence of its tremendous R&D capabilities. BKT, the only tyre company in India to manufacture the 27.00 R49 model, will soon be launching the 33.00 R51 model for mining purposes.  With the mining sector opening up for business BKT sees great prospects of customization which could vary from one mining site to other. It has also developed an exclusive 3 stage machine for the manufacture of this tyre setting new standards in the mining sector.  It is also developing snow tyres to be used in loaders and graders working in extremely cold conditions, such as say -30 Degrees Celsius. The company is also leading research on the sustainability front and with nano materials for the future trying out various different compounds, the efforts recognised by government bodies like the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR) and the Department of Science & Technology (DST).

Veritably it is easy to see that the Tyre Titan is on the go. With a universe of opportunities unfolding for BKT the world might just not be enough for it.

 

As Poddar would happily reveal, “With the government’s focus now being on infrastructure development India has now emerged as a key global market for construction equipment. We see that as a great opportunity. Excon over the years has become one of the most visited international fairs for construction equipment. Participating in it has helped BKT consolidate and strengthen its brand presence in the world market.”

 




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