ACI Bureau

Leading tyre manufacturer JK Tyre & Industries Ltd., produces a wide range of tyre products to cater to multiple segments. It is positioning itself as a one-stop-shop for all customer requirements. Engaged in the manufacture and marketing of automotive tyres, tubes and flaps, the company’s tyre products comprise Truck and Bus Radials, Truck and Bus Bias, passenger car radials, two and three-wheeler tyres, OTR, racing, military, LCV Radial, LCV and SCV Bias, industrial and speciality and farm solutions in its product portfolio. With 12 state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, nine in India (three plants in Mysore, three plants in Haridwar and one plant each in Benmore, Kankroli and Chennai) and three in Mexico, the company is known to have an overall annual production capacity of 32 million tyres. The company has also established a state-of-the-art global R&D Centre, Raghupati Singhania Centre of Excellence (RPSCOE), in Mysuru. The company, in India, is confident of strengthening operations through an improved marketing-mix with a focus on product, price, place and promotion.

In India, the company markets products through a strong network of more than 4500 dealers and more than 550 dedicated brand shops known as Steel Wheels and Xpress Wheels, providing complete solutions to customers. The company has established long-lasting relationships with major automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) like Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, Mahindra, Volvo Eicher, Volkswagen, Fiat, TAFE and Nissan, among others. In 2018-19 the total production of JK Tyre increased 13.4 per cent by tonnage, and capacity utilisation moved up from 71 per cent in FY18 to 79 per cent in FY19. “I am pleased to report that JK Tyre is as futuristic as it is competitive, as research-led as it is manufacturing-driven and as resilient in the face of short-term challenges as it is committed to the long-term.

The Indian economy in general and the automotive sector, in particular, encountered some of the most challenging days in probably a decade, starting from the second half of the last financial year. There was a sharp decline in consumer sentiment on the back of liquidity crunch and automotive sales declined virtually month-on-month in the last five months. Increased global trade tensions moderated product offtake and the embargoes imposed by importing countries affected global cross-border trade. Even at this challenging juncture, the company is said to have resolved to produce and sell as much as it could. Teams were encouraged to moderate costs despite rising raw material prices. The company worked closely with trade partners to deepen market presence. It graduated from product sale to consumer solutions. The export footprint got wider too. With these measures, the company was able to report 24 per cent growth in revenues said to be above industry average, crossing Rs.10,000 crores according to a statement made by Dr Raghupati Singhania, Chairman and Managing Director, in the 2018-19 Annual Report of the company.

Playing a major role in the performance of the company in a challenging year was the company’s decision taken three years ago to acquire Cavendish Industries Ltd, Laksar (Haridwar). Said to be one of the largest acquisitions in India’s tyre sector. During 2018-19 the Cavendish plant increased capacity utilisation to 81 per cent and helped the company complete its portfolio through the introduction of two and three-wheeler tyres, enhancing the proportion of value-added tyres in the company’s portfolio. That apart, the company also strengthened its position as a broad-based tyre company following the introduction of two- and three-wheeler tyres from the Laksar plant, strengthening the wallet share across retail points of sale and corresponding visibility.

India is today the largest market of operations for JK Tyre. The company derived 87.5 per cent of its revenues from the Indian market during 2018-19 and the revenues from India grew 22.4 per cent during the year. Going ahead, the company looks to consolidate its growth across the Indian leg of operations through various initiatives. For instance, the company plans to increase manufacturing capacity across its Indian operations over the years and generate around 65 per cent of revenue from the aftermarket through a broad basing of its presence across a wider product-mix, customised products, deeper penetration and stronger promotion. Winning the coveted Deming Prize, the company looks to strengthen its quality culture and set new benchmarks across the chain of operations. It will continue to strengthen its customer-centricity by manufacturing products for specific terrain applications on the one hand and transform a product into service on the other hand. The Company will deepen the institutionalisation of its customer interface programmes with the objective of understanding their stated and unstated requirements in a bid to launch customised products ahead of the sectoral curve. ACI


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