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Advantage Agri Radials

By PTA News Bureau

Interview with Rajiv Poddar, recently elevated to the position of Jt. Managing Director and the driving force behind BKT’s strategic expansion plans.Rajivpoddar400

Among BKT’s strongholds in the Off Highway Tyre sector, your agricultural radial tyres – the Agrimax range – is now a decade old and evolving. How has been its evolution as a market leader?

From the day of inception to the present day, our objective in developing the AGRIMAX range of Agricultural Radial tyres has been to offer the best value for money to the discerning consumers. And we have been highly successful in attaining this objective. AGRIMAX has a great brand name in the market due to established quality and almost zero-defect. Yes, the range has been evolving in terms of sizes under each series, and the continuous improvement processes (Kaizens), which we have undertaken. We may not have data to substantiate the claim that it is a market leader, but we are sure that with the ever increasing sales, we are having a fairly good market share.

BKT is a leader in Agri Radial Tyres in Europe. What is the agricultural uniqueness that you took into consideration to research and design the region-specific tyres? What was the kind of R&D thrust that went into developing the technology?

Europe has been one of the first (and now the largest) markets of our foray, so naturally the affinity and belongingness is greater. It has also been the most mature and developed markets for the Agri Radial tyres. So, we knew that we were in the right market for development of our range, where we would be able to test our mettle directly with biggies of the industry and also would be able to get the feedback from the most discerning consumers. From studying the available patterns, to using the feedback mechanism for developing our range; reaching up to the minute details and offering an absolutely no-compromise tyre to the market, have been the unique features of our development strategy. Today, we boast the maximum number of highly sophisticated machinery for building Agri radial tyres at our plants imported from the best supplies in Italy & Europe. Our new and upcoming plant at Bhuj in Gujarat state is also equipped to produce the agricultural radial tyres, thus offering us further leverage.

What are the unique features of the Agrimax range, which help it maintain its competitive edge over others in the world market?

Distinctive features available in AGRIMAX series tyres are:

a.            Deeper Tread – for longer tyre life

b.            More lug area, wide Lug base &optimised lug angles – for maximum power transmission;

c.             Higher ground width contact – for best traction with excellent grip

d.            Usage of “higher cords per inch” in casing and belt to get the strongest tyre in the market, with higher load carrying capacity

e.            Robust lug borders provided at pattern ends in the buttress region, to protect the sidewalls from damages due to sharp objects

How does BKT’s quality control system operate? Do you have your own tyre testing facilities?

Our plants have won many accolades for the continuous improvement measure (Kaizen) as well as other measures taken at the plant level for ensuring that each and every tyre moving out from the plant is only of the top quality. They undergo minimum 450 checks from the raw material stage till the finished tyre ready for moving out to the customers’ warehouse. We have invested in world standard equipment at all our plants. Our tyre enduring testing facility is equipped for the tyresupto 54” and is one of the best in the industry.

About 4-5 per cent of our turnover is invested in R&D activities, which we believe is the basis of our success. We have extensive plans to increase our R&D activities. In addition to upgrading and investing in the current plants, a large area of about 30 acre has been earmarked at the new plant in Bhuj for such activities, which would include a modern R&D centre. A large testing track has been planned for physical testing of our tyres on different types of vehicles, to observe and monitor our products in real life conditions, in the plant vicinity so as to incorporate the required modifications at the fastest pace.

(Full text of the interview in PTA April-May issue)

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