Arvind Poddar, CMD and Rajiv Poddar, Joint MD, BKT Tires share the company’s growth across world markets and plans to grow their brand’s reach and value.
BKT is a leader in off-highway tire manufacturing not only in India but in many parts of the world too, which has earned it the nomenclature ‘Indian Multinational’ – making India proud for its Make in India initiatives.
Having gained a foothold in the agriculture and construction industry, BKT now plans to expand its mining portfolio with Giant and Super Giant range. Despite the Covid induced lockdown and the challenges to the industry, BKT decided to venture into the unknown and had a massive expansion of `2500 cr. Last year the company completed a 450cr capacity expansion which emphasizes on technological upgradation of existing equipment and installation of automated material handling system.
The company will be showcasing its new products at the upcoming EXCON 2021 trade event. “It will be a very important event for the industry since everyone is eagerly waiting to showcase the developments done in the past couple of years. BKT occupies a central and prime booth at EXCON, where distributers will come to see our products along with many end-users,” said Rajiv Poddar.
He informed that BKT will focus a lot on its mining products, which are poised to be the core area for the company’s business, going forward. And it is in the process of completing the mining tires which will be at par with international standards.
BKT had launched tires for agricultural application and plans to introduce tires for compact loaders in the next 6 months. In the solid tires range, along with the current 15 inch tires, new 25 inch tires are being developed. The company is using advanced technologies to make smarter tires by incorporating data collection and monitoring. About 3% of the company’s revenue is invested in Research and Development, and it has developed its own testing track for tire testing.
Green energy in the form of gas is used for vulcanizing the rubber, and 40% of the total energy requirement is provided by windmills. The company has its own power plant for self-sufficiency at its Bhuj plant.
The company produces its own carbon black to have continuous and unhindered supply of raw material. This it has successfully increased its entire tire production capability. 80% of the carbon black is used in-house and 20% is sold.
Along with working on presales to help customers select the right tire as per the application, BKT works on post-sales to ensure knowledge transfer to ensure long life of the tires. In the past 15-20 years, the life of tires has increased to 40% and there is continuous improvements being made in this area. “Agriculture has become more mechanized, and more machines have been utilized recently. We have also seen roads and ports improving like never before. India is a growing market and the current government policies will take India to new levels,” said an optimistic DM Vaidya.
According to Rajiv Poddar, BKT has built a resilient business model and is confident of withstanding the near-term challenges to emerge stronger global player. “We continue to see strong demand for our products across geographies, even though the macro challenges continue to be in terms of raw material costs and logistics costs along with the availability of containers. Higher marketing spends and power and fuel expenses would impact our profitability, no doubt.”
What Makes BKT a Strong ‘Made in India’ Brand
- Has over 3200 SKU and exports to more than 160 countries – making BKT one of the major players in the market.
- In India, the company has 1100 SKUs sold and is associated with leading OEMs.
- 6 production sites in India: Aurangabad (2 plants), Bhiwadi, Chopanki, Bhuj, and Dombivali (mold plant); inhouse R&D center.
- New manufacturing facility at Waluj in Aurangabad has an annual production capacity of around 30,000 MT of off-highway tires.
- Three overseas offices in Europe, USA, and Canada.
- Had an average growth of 20% y-o-y in the last two years; completed `450 cr capacity expansion with better connectivity into its operations, technological up-gradation of current equipment, and installation of automated material handling systems.
- Introduced new range of BKT Mineforce 27.00-49 and 24.00-35 tires in the mining sector.
- Enhanced its all-steel radial, the ultra-large range of 57-63 inch.
- 63 inch tires to be launched to compete in the Indian and global mining market. BKT is the only Indian manufacturer of these sizes of tires.
- Plans to expand XL Grip Ultra tire range to meet market demand.
- In the solid tire segment, plans to expand to 24 to 25 inches to cater to forklift and compactor OEMs.
- Aspires to increase share of nearly 6% in the global off-highway tires segment to 10% over the next 4-5 years.
- Turnover is set to cross a billion dollars in 2022 with India contributing 20% and export 80%.