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BKT: one-stop-shop for OTR solutions

Balkrishna Industries (BKT), being a trendsetter with its state-of-the-art facilities and excelling in variety of fields, has today established itself strongly on global platform
 Every company tries to identify an existing trend (socio-economic and market) and sell accordingly, but very few can break through the obvious and dare to go beyond, creating not just success but also an unprecedented niche for themselves. With more than 25 years of global presence in the off-highway tyres segment, Balkrishna Industries (BKT) has established itself as one such company.
Journey so far BKT’s products, owing to their state-of-the-art make and performance, have found great recognition in world. Today BKT enjoys principal presence in five continents around the world with over 130 countries. It is the supplier to International OEM’s in industrial, construction and agricultural tyre segments, and has grown since its inception in 1988 into a diversified industrial conglomerate exporting its expansive range of ‘off-highway solutions’ to the world.
Made at BKTToday BKT is being preferred as supplier in countries like Europe and America, thus highlighting the quality and performance of BKT products. This is achieved by using quality raw materials that are processed through the advanced technology. With four state-of-the-art manufacturing plants spread across India, currently, BKT provides over 2,300 different SKUs (stock keeping units) for various kinds of applications.
“Our each product passes over 450 stages of tests. The result of this rigorous practice being that BKT products are known for their reliability and have the lowest claim ratio in the industry,” informs Rajiv Poddar, Joint Managing Director, BKT.
The company has products from 5” rim diameter to 54” rim diameter for vehicles ranging from trailers, forklifts, etc. to technologically advanced machines like high horsepower tractors, combines, harvesters, GPS controlled vehicles, articulated dump trucks, high-speed cranes, sophisticated port vehicles and container handlers etc.
Port tyresAfter establishing itself as a one-stop shop for OTR solutions — be it for mining or industrial applications, BKT has now also initiated production of port tyres. There is a gamut of tyres available in this line, ranging from port reach stacker sizes to RTG sizes. BKT has been selling tyres to major companies like Kalmar Sweden, which is one of the world’s leading reach stacker machine manufacturers. BKT has also recently launched an ultra advanced range of tyres especially for high speed cranes. The tyre 445/95R/25 enables heavy high speed cranes to journey at an unprecedented speed of 80 km/hr.
Agricultural tyres The company also offers a range of solutions for agricultural activities. BKT’s range of tractor tyres is specially designed to carry higher loads on and off roads with minimal soil compaction in field. Their superior make ensures great road ability, traction and durability making them a fitting choice for today’s high horse power tractors and trailer applications.  
“We invest heavily every year into R&D, to upgrade our plant facilities and develop new products,” informs Arvind Poddar, Chairman and Managing Director, BKT. “Our competition is with global tyre giants, so we always have to have an edge over technology if we have to compete with them.”
BKT has always focused to be proactive and in sync with ever-changing market needs. To respond the same, it develops about 150-160 new SKU’s every year. The company has its own mould plant which enables them to have the fastest turnaround time i.e. from a new concept to product availability in the market.
Fulfilling mining and industry needsBKT has ventured into the production of all steel radials since 2008. Its steel radial plant at Chopanki, Rajasthan is now functioning to produce quality radial tyres for OTR vehicles ranging from rigid dump trucks to snow manoeuvring vehicles. The tyres under this segment range from a 20” diameter tipper truck size to a giant 51” rigid dump truck size, in both radial and bias make, thus covering your every requirement in regards to industrial use and mining.
Identifying the opportunities in mining, BKT has also ventured into full fledged production of mining and industrial solutions providing a range of tyre variants for various applications.
Future outlookThe tyre markets in Asia have witnessed a strong surge in recent years, with India and China leading in growth and development. Indian tyre companies are no longer just manufacturing tyres for commercial vehicles but the market has expanded encapsulating high-end consumers with heavy OE needs for industrial, construction and mining purposes.
Along with business interests, there has also been a strong escalation in application requirement demands by its consumers. Today BKT is manufacturing tyres for OEM’s all over the world, offering solutions for heavy agro, industrial and mining solutions. BKT is a vendor and collaborator with companies like Coal India Ltd. which is among the world’s largest OTR customer. BKT is working intensively to be at tandem with the emerging needs of its OEM clients and doing well while keeping the costs low and efficiency high.
Being socialThere is a deep rooted sense of responsibility and affection for the world and environment from BKT side which then transcends encapsulating the company’s fundamentals and functioning.
The company is involved in various social causes starting from ensuring safe health to its workers and their loved ones by opening a fully fledged hospital near their Aurangabad plant, to building a modern school in Rajasthan for underprivileged girls. Also there is its initiative towards the environment, which BKT is so passionate about that it has included the model of environmental friendly business as a core element of the company.
BKT’s Bhuj plant: A green field projectThe manufacturing plant at Bhuj, Gujarat is the 4th manufacturing unit set up by BKT in India. The project complex comprises of about 300 acres of land in the Gujarat region, just a few kilometres away from the Mundra port offering logistical advantages in transport of raw materials. The site foresees a large warehouse and a specific area of about 15 acres dedicated exclusively to R&D. The testing facility at the plant is equipped with indoor and outdoor testing areas and there is a special testing track constructed to provide for test runs and on field tests for the tyres.  Introducing the plant Rajiv Poddar says, “We have invested over $ 375 million in this plant. This is a huge plant spread across 300 acres and with the most modern machinery ever used in production in India. The plant will enhance our total capacity by 75 per cent.”
The real winning point being the social relevance of the plant! BKT has established a self sustaining village around the 300 acres of plant site, where its employees and their families are living with all facilities and requirements of modern living like schools, hospitals, fire brigade stations, hotels and guest houses.
For BKT, the Bhuj plant means a tremendous 75 per cent increase in production which will add about 120,000 tonnes per year in addition to its 180,000 tonnes obtained from the other three plants.

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