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BKT reiterates growth strategy

BKT, a global brand of Indian origin, unveils aggressive business strategy to be a market leader in off-highway tyres for mining applications
  Balkrishna Industries (BKT), one of the leading manufacturers of off-highway tyres, is meeting the need of OEMs across the globe. Today BKT offers off-highway tyres for heavy agro, industrial and mining operations. At the recently concluded EXCON, the company revealed its aggressive plans to increase its exposure to tyres for industrial, construction and mining segments, known as the off-the-road (OTR) segments.
New launchMaintaining its promise of introducing new solutions to meet changing market dimension, BKT returned to this year’s EXCON to launch a series of giant OTR tyres for mining applications. The company launched 27.00R49, specially designed OTR for trucks in mining service and quarry operations.
“The newly launched OTR tyre range 27.00R49 can offer lowest total cost of ownership for mining operators,” Rajiv Poddar, Joint Managing Director, BKT claims.
The 27.00R49 will be manufactured at the company’s newly opened plant in Bhuj, Gujarat.   
Collaborating with OEMsBKT is a vendor and collaborator with companies like Coal India which is among the world’s largest OTR customers. “We are working intensively to be at tandem with the emerging needs of its OEM clients and have the shortest response period amongst its competitors when it comes to delivering a new product while keeping the costs low and efficiency high adhering to the stringent most international standards,” Rajiv said.
Strengthening manufacturing capacityBKT has four state-of-the-art manufacturing units located at Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Bhiwadi and Chopanki in Rajasthan and Bhuj in Gujarat. The greenfield plant in Bhuj is built with an investment of around $ 450 million over 300 acres of land, just a few kilometres away from the Mundra port offering logistical advantages in transport of raw materials.
“Today we have the manufacturing capacity of about 160,000 tonnes per annum. Fully operationalisation of Bhuj plant will add about 120,000 tonnes per annum to our existing 160,000 tonnes obtained from the other three plants,” informs Rajiv. Therefore, with Bhuj plant coming on stream in 2017, BKT will be able to bring the production capacity up to 280,000 tonnes per annum.
BKT also has an in-house mould design and production unit at Dombivali near Mumbai which enables the company in achieving production flexibility and frequent change-over in the production cycle within a short time, resulting in a faster ‘concept-to-market’ product rollout.
Product rangeWith the help of persistent and intensive market research coupled with ever expanding production as well as R&D capabilities, today BKT has made its mark in the specialty segments like agricultural, construction, industrial, earthmover, port, ATV (all-terrain vehicle) and turf care applications in both cross ply and radial construction. BKT claims to the first tyre company in India to produce the all-steel radial OTR tyres thus joining an elite class of all-steel OTR manufacturers in the world.
BKT has products from 5-inch rim diameter to 54-inch rim diameter and has products available for the traditional vehicles like dumpers, graders, trailers, forklifts, and implements to the technologically advanced machines like high horsepower tractors, combines, harvesters, GPS-controlled vehicles, articulated dump trucks, high-speed cranes, sophisticated port vehicles and container handlers.  BKT maintains a huge 2,300 different stock keeping units (SKU) for various kinds of applications.
With the future of off-highway tyre segment being radial, BKT’s new facility at Bhuj will have the emphasis on radials. This facility will also produce ultra large and giant OTR tyres up to 51-inch rim diameter. The tyres up to 35-inch rim diameter in the radial OTR segment are already available and apart from this, in the agriculture sector BKT has radials up to 54-inch.
BKT has also recently launched an ultra advanced range of tyres especially for high-speed cranes. The tyre 445/95R25 enables heavy high-speed cranes to travel at an incredible speed of 80 kms per hour.
Innovation to the coreWith its emphasis and regular investment in the research and development, BKT complies with all national and international regulatory, statutory and pollution control norms. It invests 4 to 5 per cent of its annual turnover into R&D to upgrade its plant facilities and develop new products. BKT designs, develops and releases 60-70 new tyre sizes each year.  “BKT is the first off-highway tyre manufacturer in India to be Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) compliant for its entire range of products and has the world’s fastest turnaround time of 8 – 10 weeks for new product development. We have also achieved the international Standard for Quality Management System (ISO 9001:2008) and Environmental Management System (ISO 14001:2004) certifications,” Rajiv informs.
BKT has a modern dedicated R&D facility equipped with state-of-the-art technology which can develop various types of rubber compounds required for manufacturing tyres for various applications. Its advanced testing labs are of international standard. And yet, to ensure maximum assessment before its products are rolled out to the markets, BKT is also associated with various testing facilities across Europe.
A new R&D set-up is being planned at the Bhuj facility which will also include a test track for development of all speciality products in addition to the existing dedicated outdoor testing facility at ISMA, Italy.
Increasing focus on Indian marketOTR tyre is among one of the major procurement expenses in mining industry.
Though the demand for OTR tyres has been very strong globally, the Indian market got reduced in size. However, BKT aims to continue growing in India in spite of a shrinking market. “As the Indian government is increasing focus on the infrastructure development and so on the mining activities, the demand for OTR tyres will only grow. Coal India’s 2020 target output of 1 billion tonnes will give much-needed impetus to the business of OTR tyres for mining applications,” shares Rajiv.
BKT is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of OTR with over 92 per cent exported to more than 130 countries. “Seeing the opportunities, we would like to renew our focus on Indian market. BKT targets 12 per cent consumption of its tyres in the domestic market,” Rajiv adds. 
—————————The newly launched OTR tyre range 27.00R49 can offer lowest total cost of ownership for mining operators.
Rajiv Poddar, Joint Managing Director, BKT

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