With its vast range of OTR tyres and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, BKT has evolved into a global player over the years.
Many businesses around the world become successful by identifying an existing trend (socio-economic and market) and selling accordingly. But only a handful break through the obvious and dare to go beyond, thus creating not just success but an unprecedented niche for themselves. They become pioneers and go on to build, along with a strong company, a robust business culture that lasts for generations. With over 27 accomplished years of global leading presence in the off-highway tyres segment of world business, Balkrishna Industries (BKT) is undoubtedly one such company. 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 enjoys principal presence in five continents around the world, encapsulating over 130 countries. It is the preferred supplier to international OEMs in industrial, construction and agricultural tyre segments, and has grown since its inception in 1987 into a diversified industrial conglomerate exporting its expansive range of off-highway solutions to the world.
One stop shop for mining and industry needs
Ventured into the production of all steel radials in 2008, BKT is the first tyre company in India to produce all-steel radial OTR tyres. An all steel radial plant at Chopanki, Rajasthan is now functioning on full throttle producing top of the line radial tyres for OTR vehicles ranging from rigid dump trucks to snow maneuvering 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 every customer requirement in regards to industrial use and mining.
Port tyres: BKT port tyres have found tremendous users not only across ports in Asia but also around the world in its supply chain spanning over 130 countries. There is a wide 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 the world´s leading reach stacker machine manufacturer.
BKT has also recently launched an ultra advanced range of tyres especially for high speed cranes. The tyre 445/95 R25 enables heavy high speed cranes to journey at an unprecedented incredible speed of 80 km/hr.
Agricultural tyres: BKT is a maker of the world´s most preferred tyres for agricultural use. The company offers a huge range of solutions for agricultural activities. BKT´s range of tractor tyres are 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 & Development
At BKT, research and development (R&D) is not just an initiative, it is a norm. The company has invested heavily into research and development of new products and advancements in their existing line. And the results are tremendous.
´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. 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.
New solutions for the new world 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 stock keeping units (SKUs) every year in response to these ever changing requirements of its consumers. It has exclusive facilities to develop new compounds and technology which keeps adding new products to its range of solutions every year.
Dilip Vaidya, Director and President - Technology, BKT says, ´In addition to our 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.
OE the future
The 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.
A company like BKT is a huge factor in this growth with its selling chains covering almost the entire world. However, as they say, with great success, comes great responsibility.
Along with business interests, there has also been a strong escalation in application requirement demands by its consumers. In terms of production, quality and performance norms have become more stringent - driven principally by emissions legislation - and with demands for fuel efficiency and continuing requirements for extended hardware durability, it has becomes increasingly important for big market players like BKT to not just provide for solutions for an OE machinery but also be involved with its development right from the beginning.
BKT is a vendor and collaborator with companies like Coal India, which is among the world´s largest OTR tyre end-user. BKT is working intensively to be at tandem with the emerging needs of its OEM clients and has 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.
The manufacturing plant at Bhuj, Gujarat, is the most recent manufacturing unit set up by BKT in India. The project complex 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 tyres. The site foresees a large warehouse and a specific area of about 25 acre dedicated exclusively to R&D. Says Rajiv Poddar, Joint Managing Director BKT, ´We have invested over $450 million in this plant. This is a huge plant spread across 300 acre and with the most modern machinery ever used in production in India. The plant will enhance our total capacity by 75 per cent.´