Interview

Marketing Director | JK Tyre & Industries Ltd.

Vikram Malhotra

JK Tyre is ranked as the 22nd largest tyre manufacturing company globally. We are also the market leader in the Truck and Bus Radial (TBR) tyre segment in India. As an organization, we are highly focused on bringing innovation and technological-excellence to the industry through our future-ready products.

 

Q. How JK TYRE contributed in bauma, 2018?

Is there any product launch from your side in bauma exhibition or does bauma will help you to make profit? bauma CONEXPO INDIA is one of the biggest exhibitions for the construction industry. This year too, we had a significant presence at the Expo that witnessed participation from over 700 exhibitors and over 40000 business visitors.

We launched an all-new premium product - 14.00-25 36 PR MINE Champion E4/L4 OTR tyre - at the Expo. The new tyre has specifically been developed for new-age Tipper trucks and Wheel loaders for mining applications.

The MINE Champion offers excellent strength and durability with its best-in-class load carrying capacity and casing strength. The new product joins JK Tyre’s comprehensive OTR segment product range that is highly efficient for application in Industrial and Mining segments.

 

Q. In which sectors your equipment are currently used?

JK Tyre is ranked as the 22nd largest tyre manufacturing company globally. We are also the market leader in the Truck and Bus Radial (TBR) tyre segment in India.

As an organization, we are highly focused on bringing innovation and technological-excellence to the industry through our future-ready products.

Overall, we offer end-to-end solutions, catering to the Off the Road (OTR) Tyres for Mining, Construction & Industrial applications. We also offer end to end solutions for our other category of tyres e.g. Truck Bus Radial (TBR), Truck Bus Bias (TBB), Small Commercial Vehicle (SCV), Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV), Farm Vehicle and Passenger Car Radial (PCR) segments, both in India and overseas.

 

Q. What were the major challenges faced by JK TYRES in the recent past?

The tyre industry did face a couple of challenges, such as high raw material costs, discontinuation of non-BS IV vehicles, spill-over effects of demonetization and the disruption caused by the Goods & Service Tax. This definitely impacted the overall market sentiment in the initial two quarters of FY’18. However, the second half of the fiscal witnessed some revival owing to the softening of the raw material prices and the Government’s imposition of anti-dumping duty on cheap TBR imports. While the external environment was not too conducive, we adopted differentiated strategies to further strengthen our presence across all categories. Against all odds, we outgrew the industry in terms of sales volumes by reporting an impressive 11% growth in FY’18.

 

Q. What are the positive trends in the current market for your product range?

The tyre industry in India has revived in the third quarter of this fiscal owing to the softening of the raw material prices and the Government’s imposition of anti-dumping duty on cheap TBR imports. We are now focused on driving growth across all the segments but there is an added emphasis on Off-The- Road (OTR) segment, commercial vehicle, two-wheeler and three-wheeler categories for the next few quarters, in India and other markets. Our recently inaugurated Raghupati Singhania Centre of Excellence (RPSCOE) at Mysuru will further give a boost to our efforts in this direction.

 

Q. Which are the verticals and geographies you are catering to?

Who are your major clientele? As I mentioned, we cater to the Truck Bus Radial (TBR), Truck Bus Bias (TBB), Small Commercial Vehicle (SCV), Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV), Farm Vehicle, Passenger Car Radial (PCR), Off the Road (OTR) and two & three-wheeler segments in India and overseas. We have a global presence in over 100 countries across six continents and in OTR category we are currently working with leading Construction &Mining equipment OEMs ,such as, Action Construction Equipment Ltd, Escorts, JCB, Indo Farm, L & T Construction, Tata Hitachi, TIL, Doosan Bobcat, Caterpillar, BEML etc. We also have strong presence with all leading OEM’s in other categories.

 

Q. How are you gearing up to meet the expected demand growth in the future?

The tyre market has bounced back and we do see an increased demand for our range of products in the coming quarters, not only from India, but also from the international markets.

We started manufacturing tyres in 1977 with a capacity of 0.5 million tyres per annum. It has grown multi-fold over the years, and currently we produce over 32 million tyres per annum from our 12 plants in India and Mexico. Therefore, we are constantly expanding ourselves to meet the growing demand.

One of the biggest initiatives undertaken by us to increase our presence in the fast growing two & three wheeler segments was the acquisition of Cavendish Industries in 2016. Encouraged by increasing radialisation in the fast growing Truck/Bus Radial segment, we also recently expanded our Truck/Bus Radial tyre capacity. We have also lined-up an investment of Rs. 1250 crore under our latest capacity expansion drive.

As a leading tyre manufacturer, we are also driving innovation in the sector to keep pace with the ever-dynamic automotive industry and the Raghupati Singhania Centre of Excellence (RPSCOE) at Mysuru will play an integral part in this endeavour.

 

Q. Which are your focused categories in Industrial Tyres Segment?

As the construction & port industry is witnessing high growth, looking towards increased demand JK Tyre has also increased their basket of Industrial Tyres. Currently company manufacture tyres for Reach Stacker, Rubber Tyre Gantry Cranes, Empty Container Handler, Pick & Carry Crane, Backhoe Loaders, Front End Loaders, Skid Steer Loaders, Forklift, Self-Loading Cement Mixer (MPT), Tippers, Motor Graders, Soil Compactors to name some.

 

Q. What are the new features and technologies you provide in your equipment range focusing on productivity, efficiency and economy in operations?

In our successfully journey as a leading tyre manufacturer, we have pioneered on many fronts. We were the first tyre company in India to launch radial technology for the entire product range (Passenger Car, LCV, Bus, Truck and Tractor). A year ago, we rolled out our 10 millionth truck/bus radial tyre from our plant in Mysore, becoming the first company in India to do so. We were the first company in India to manufacture the largest off the road tyre i.e. 40.00-57 68PR VEM045 E4 Tubeless. Previously, this size tyres were imported from USA & China. The tyre stands almost 12 feet from the ground and weighs more than 3300 Kgs.

As an organization, we are committed to develop cutting-edge technologies that translate into superior product quality and cost efficiency. Our recent introduction, like, ‘’MINE Champion’’ is   reflective of this unwavering focus.

Our recently inaugurated R&D centre – Raghupati Singhania Centre of Excellence (RPSCOE) – is an effort to create a R&D hub in India and introduce advanced tyre technologies going forward.

 

Q. Does JK TYRE have any initiatives towards CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)?

We have touched the lives of more than 1,20,000 people in one way or the other, through our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives that we call our social investments.

Livelihood enhancement: In rural India, agriculture and livestock are the major sources of livelihood. In a bid to enhance farm and off-farm incomes of poor and marginal farmers, we have initiated various agricultural and cattle breed improvement programs.

Health and Sanitation: We have collaborated with multiple stakeholders to provide adequate sanitation, good hygiene, safe drinking water and access to healthcare facilities for socio economic development of the country.

Water Conservation: We have achieved the distinction of being one of the lowest water-consuming companies and have established a new benchmark for water consumption in the global tyre industry.

We have initiated various water conservation initiatives in villages located close to our manufacturing plants to enable the local communities become water sufficient. A total of 25 community water tanks, six check dams, 38 farm ponds, bore well recharge and soak pits etc. have been developed to harvest a large amount of water for irrigation, ground water recharge and for animals to drink.

Education: We believe in inclusive growth and our programmes are focused on building a conducive environment for knowledge sharing and development. The adult literacy programme being run at all our manufacturing locations has transformed the lives of more than 50,000 rural illiterate women. We also run our own school at Jaykaygram and support several other schools to bring about an improvement in pedagogy, learning outcomes, digital learning and ensuring better infrastructure.