BKT enjoys a strong presence in over 130 countries along with India. Quality conscious users who adhere to stringent conformity standards in countries like Europe and America prefer BKT as their supplier, thus underlining the fact that every BKT product is superior in creation and delivers expected performance.
Back in the early 1990s, when the other tire companies in India were busy producing highway tires for mass use mostly, the leaders at Balkrishna Industries (BKT) foresaw a unique opportunity in international business and audaciously initiated production in the off-highway segment. BKT's products, owing to their state-of-the-art make and unmatched performance, found immediate recognition in world markets, and there began an unending story of BKT's triumph and innovation.
Today, BKT is the preferred supplier to international OEMs in industrial, construction and agricultural tire 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.
BKT now is a global player and enjoys a strong presence in a staggering over 130 countries along with India. Quality conscious users who adhere to stringent conformity standards in countries like Europe and America prefer BKT as their supplier, thus underlining the fact that every BKT product is superior in creation and delivers expected performance. This is achieved by using the foremost quality of raw materials that are processed through the most advanced and developed technology creating a BKT product. "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," says Rajiv Poddar, Executive Director, BKT.
As of today, BKT has three functioning state-of-the-art manufacturing plants in India and a fourth plant at Bhuj, Gujarat, is expected to start production by the end of 2013. Currently, BKT provides over 2,100 different Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) for various applications.
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.
BKT, continuing its legacy of taking gutsy decisions in business based on foresight, has ventured into the production of all steel radials since 2008. BKT is the first tire company in India to produce the all-steel radial OTR tires. An all steel radial plant at Chopanki, Rajasthan, is now functioning on full throttle producing top-of-the-line radial tires for OTR vehicles ranging from rigid dump trucks to snow manoeuvring vehicles. This is a result of years of research and innovation by the R&D department at BKT, which has developed tires that can encounter the toughest and the most hostile terrains faced during mining and industrial activities. These have already found strong appreciation in BKT's chain of suppliers all over the world. The tires 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 every customer requirement in regards to industrial use and mining. BKT also plans to unveil a more enviable and capable range of sizes for OTR solutions soon.
BKT has established itself as a one-stop-shop for all OTR solutions, be it for mining, industrial or OE applications. And staying true to the image, BKT has initiated production of port tires. And once again owing to excellence in product performance and make, these have found tremendous users not only across ports in Asia but around the world. There is a wide gamut of tires available in this line, ranging from port reach stacker sizes to RTG sizes, BKT has them all. BKT has been selling tires to major companies like Kalmar Sweden, which is the world's leading reach stacker machine manufacturer.
BKT is a maker of the world's most preferred tires for agricultural use. The company offers a huge range of solutions for agricultural activities. BKT's range of tractor tires 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.
Research, develop, innovate
BKT's R&D team is touted to be one of the best in the country amongst other companies in the business and has many advancements and original creations to its credit, developed in response to the needs of their elite customers all around the world. BKT is the first tire company in India to produce the all-steel radial OTR tires. All of this is possible because of the interest the leaders of the company take into the possibilities of research.
"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 tire giants, so we always have to have an edge over technology if we have to compete with them. If you look at all steel OTR radial tires for mining, we are the pioneers from India," he further adds.
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 tires for various applications. Their testing labs are one of the most advanced in the country and match up to the ones abroad. 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.
BKT is at the forefront when it comes to new product development. The company caters to an expansive range for clients all over the world, thus has to be very proactive and in sync with their growing and changing needs. BKT develops about 150-160 new SKUs every year in response to these ever changing requirements of their consumers. They have exclusive facilities to develop new compounds and technology which keeps adding new products to its already gigantic range of solutions every year.
The company has its own mould plant which enables them to have the fastest turnaround time - that is from a new concept to product availability in the market. Dilip Vaidya, President & Director-Technology, BKT, says, "In addition to BKT's state-of-the-art factories, we also possess an in-house mould design and a production plant which enables us to achieve production flexibility and frequent changeover in production cycles as per demand." This enables BKT to attend to very specific demands of its exclusive customers, by creating products exclusively made to encounter their specific needs.
India is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of mineral deposits which opens doors to possibilities of immense infrastructural growth. There has been a lot of talk revolving around mining activities in India recently. The government and industry are waking up to the prospects of the gains that lie underneath in the country's huge mineral resource reserves. India is already the world's largest producer of coal, and producer and exporter of mica and iron ore. Then there are the abundant resources of manganese, bauxite, limestone among others which aren't being fully tapped into. Identifying these opportunities, BKT has ventured into full-fledged production of mining and industrial solutions providing a huge range of tire variants for various applications.
There is a deep-rooted sense of responsibility and affection for the world and environment among the leaders at BKT which then transcends encapsulating the company's fundamentals and functioning.
"At BKT, we strongly believe that society and environment are vital to our existence. Various green and social measures have been adopted, to take care of these aspects," says Arvind Poddar. And at BKT, it quicker done than said.
Clean and green
Ever since its inception, BKT has been very conscious about protecting the environment. Today, BKT's efforts to reduce carbon footprints have been recognised by the businesses they deal with and even the government of India, where it operates. Adding to that, Arvind Poddar says, "We keep our plants pollution free. For mixing of carbon black (powder), we have highly sophisticated auto carbon charging unit, which eliminates manual loading."
Energy saved - energy generated
"We have windmills set-up in Rajasthan for generating green power, which fulfils almost 40 per cent of all our energy needs in the northern manufacturing units," says Arvind Poddar. Energy conservation is a top agenda at BKT. As mentioned, a sizable part of its energy requirement is fulfilled through non conventional and renewable energy sources, where BKT has invested heavily. BKT has taken its green initiative one step further by changing the design of its logo and involving its green philosophy as part of it.
Bhuj plant - a greenfield project
The manufacturing plant at Bhuj, Gujarat is just a few kilometres away from the Mundra port offering logistical advantages in transport of raw materials, which are mainly imported, and the export of containerised tires. The site foresees a large warehouse and a specific area of about 15 acres dedicated exclusively to research and development. For BKT, the Bhuj plant means an extraordinary 75 per cent increase in production which will add about 120,000 tonne per year in addition to its 180,000 tonne obtained from the other three plants."There are plans being made to modify the Bhuj plant and extend its production capacity to the level of 280,000 tonnes," says Rajiv Poddar. This is made possible by the use of the most advanced machinery till date in the industry and intense R&D by the BKT engineers. This is a greenfield project and will focus on developing a wide range of BKT's radial and bias tires. "This facility will also produce ultra large and giant OTR tires up to 51" rim diameter," says Dilip Vaidya.
The WOW campaign
BKT has recently launched its new campaign aptly titled 'WOW' to promote its super-efficient industrial, mining, and OTR tires under the sub-brand Earthmax. These tires for earthmoving solutions were promoted heavily during the international trade fair bauma, Munich, using this campaign.
The campaign is created in line with the performance and efficiency of the Earthmax products which are bound to evoke a sense of wonderment in its users. Thus, aptly called 'WOW' with the centre 'O' depicted by the Earthmax tire in the design.
Our competition is with global tyre giants, so we always have to have an edge over technology if we have to compete with them.
There are plans to modify the Bhuj plant and extend its production capacity to the level of 280,000 tonne.