The Indian lure
By Sharad Matade
The Indian tyre market, despite all odds, has been luring foreign companies. The long-term advantage that it offers is hard to ignore even while it throws unique challenges. In a fiercely competitive market like India creating brand awareness is vital, says , KCS Pillai, Managing Director of Triangle Tyre Co. (India) Ltd, the Indian entity of the China-based Triangle Group, which is now part of the much-happening Indian tyre scene.
Over the past decade India has grown to become a much sought-after market for global automobile and tyre manufacturers. Despite the slowdowns and related challenges, the Indian market has a lure that companies looking for long-haul prospects cannot ignore. It is no wonder that multinational players are entering the scene, either going for an organic way or through takeovers and partnerships.
However, in India the market for tyre companies, mainly foreign tyre makers, is different and difficult to access, as almost 90 per cent of the space is occupied by a group of six to eight Indian tyre makers. Many major international tyre makers have taken on the challenge and moved in, but the task to break the bastion of domestic power has been hard.
However, KCS Pillai, Managing Director, Triangle Tyre Co. (India) Ltd, the Indian entity of Chinese tyre maker Triangle Group Co. Ltd, sounded confident about the entry of his company into the Indian market. “Triangle has come to India with high end and wide range of products which will help reduce the competition. The company produces several sizes of tyres which are not produced by many companies in India but has potential in the market,” Pillai told Polymers & Tyre Asia in an interview.
The company is also armed with a highly competent, dedicated service team, with some of the best known names from tyre Industry with vast experience in tyre industry he said. “Superiority in product quality and services always finds its place in the market,” he added.
Creating brand awareness is a vital element as a company enters a highly competitive market like India, Pillai said. Triangle Tyre Co. (India) was formed after careful study of the market, fully knowing that the competition is fierce, particularly from well established domestic players with very high brand value, he stressed.
“We are currently studying the market for Triangle products. Our current sales and marketing strategy is to work through distributors and big fleets and OE accounts to create a dedicated and loyal Triangle network in the country,” Pillai said.
According to him, while maintaining quality excellence, providing value for money makes a big difference to customers’ perception about the product. A strong service support is an effective add-on, he says.
Apart from tough competition, there are other challenges that India throws at companies moving in from outside. According to Pillai, bureaucratic formalities make a major hurdle. Establishing an office is a tough job, he says. Then there is the high custom duty and anti dumping duty, which compel companies to operate on low margins, he adds.