Vision to make BKT global leader in off-highway tyre solutions with 10% market share by 2015
BKT Vice Chairman and Managing Director Arvind Poddar is quietly but with determination is pursuing his vision to make his company the inimitable global leader in off-highway tyre solutions with 10% market share by the year 2015.
And if the past performance is an indication, he is in course to achieve this goal even earlier. Amid rising demand for BKT products, Poddar has set his agenda that is driven by his mission of ‘growing together with the customers’. His customer-centric business has been rewarding as BKT growth story amply demonstrates.
BKT is on the course to achieve the goal to garner 10% of the global market for OHT solutions. For this Poddar is going ahead with his agenda of growth with emphasis on capacity enhancement of existing plants.
He has mapped out a programme of “moving to a new, bigger, modern and state-of-the-art mould manufacturing plant,” he told Polymers & Tyre Asia in an interview. The new greenfield plant at Bhuj, in the western Indian state of Gujarat, will nearly double the present production capacities.
His major target is to consolidate customer relationship and entering into new ones, with the mantra of “Growing Together.” It has become the catch line of the company and truly reflects the management philosophy of BKT. Poddar is also committed to reengineering all the processes of the organisation to enthuse the workforce for achieving the vision collectively, relying on the excellent team work that the company is proud of.
This growth agenda is tailored to meet the challenges of the fiercely competitive global market, where Poddar is constantly coming with strategies to enlarge the market share and sustain achievements.
The spectrum of his management thrust covers everything from sales boost to product and quality focus. “BKT has a strong and focused distribution strategy for most of the markets, which helps in building mutual trust and long term growth prospects,” Poddar explained.
He also wants to ensure availability of the widest product range in the market, so as to offer the best choice for customers under one umbrella brand.
“The realignment of distribution arrangements and addition of specialist products into segments like OTR, Port and other sectors is on course,” he said.
Growth strategy BKT is also involved in a deep promotional strategy to ensure highest and consistent visibility of the BKT brand, which has also undergone a logo change earlier this year, he pointed out.
Another challenge before Poddar is to confront the uncertainties facing natural rubber supplies. “We have developed profound relationship with suppliers,” he indicated adding that BKT has made long-term supply arrangements and developed multiple supply options including exploration of new supply sources.
Commenting on the major consumer perceptions that he has seen evolving that will have a defi ning impact on the tyre industry, Poddar said as consumer ourselves, everybody would agree that in today’s fast-paced world, the last thing anyone wants is a problem or claim with the product he has purchased, be it tyre or any other item.
“The consumer perception is tilting towards reliable products and brands which take care of the service part also, even if it is associated with a marginally higher cost factor,” Poddar elaborated.
“Our business model and philosophy has been based on the same concept, where we rely heavily on R&D, before a product is conceptualised. We take efforts to ensure the best quality raw materials for the same. We have already invested in the best in the industry infrastructure for production and quality control. We partner with the best in the trade for distribution arrangements. We go all out to support them for a successful and long-term partnership.”
Poddar fi rmly believes that only those brands that could see this emerging trend would be successful in the long run. He also believes very fi rmly that branding is becoming a very important and critical factor in market acceptance than price at a time when the tyre is shedding the ‘commoditisation’ image.
“Tyres, especially the off-highway tyres, are a much specialised category of tyre products, where commoditisation is detrimental to the survival of a brand,” Poddar believes.
The tyre business gets ruined due to this phenomenon and thus can never continue in the long run. The brands which have attempted this have faced oblivion and it is a lesson in market survival.
“Chinese tyres are the best example.” Poddar said brands help in anticommoditisation and it helps in getting traction that is getting attention. We believe in this concept and have been heavily focussing on our communication as well as brand promotion.”