BKT is “Committed to Growth” – Rajiv Poddar.
BKT joint director Mr. Rajiv Poddar made it clear to everyone in the industry, the message that, BKT is “Committed to Growth.”
Earlier this month on September 14th, 2016, Tyre Times was invited by BKT Tires, to visit their tyre manufacturing plant in Bhuj. The plant, covering the area of 325 acres is one of the most technologically advanced & employee centric tyre manufacturing facility yet. We will be writing a detailed report on the plant facilities & what makes BKT’s Bhuj plant different from many other tyre manufacturing facilities in the country in our next week’s post built around BKT Bhuj plant. For this report however, we would like to share some excerpts from the speech given by BKT Joint MD Mr. Rajiv Poddar where he spoke about BKT’s past, present & future.
Read on the excerpts from the speech to know why BKT is a company that is class apart from many of its competitors.
Rajiv Poddar: In the game of chess, there is a unique quality that distinguishes a true champion from a mere player. It is the ability to understand that each game consists of challenges as the game proceeds. And hence, the flexibility to adapt one’s strategy till the final move.
Since its inception, BKT has chosen to be a main player in this game, on the global chessboard.
This has been done with bravery and boldness, by always venturing on newer paths; this has been done with passion and commitment, by developing new products and solutions that are able to meet the growing needs of our customers; this has been done with humility and resolution for the purpose of achieving newer milestones.
Rajiv also spoke of the history of BKT, underlining the reasons & principals that have laid the foundation of the company’s success & have paved the way for a glorious future of BKT:
Rajiv Poddar: Let us go back to the year 1954, when my grandfather, our visionary Founder Chairman late Mr. Mahabirprasad Poddar, took up a new challenge in setting up the production of cycle tires in addition to the already well-established textile business. Even in this new venture, the results were immediate and promising. The company was successfully established in the Indian Market.
However, it was at the end of Eighties, that our group experienced its first evolution – under the drive of a rapidly growing local market, full of new opportunities for those who dared to seize them. Against this backdrop, my grandfather sensed the potential of a new market segment, and in 1987 he took the group towards new horizons, by starting the production of two-and three-wheeler tires. His determination and passion along with a profound business sense were honored, and the company became in a short time a point of reference in this segment, gaining both authority and leadership.
During 1994, an in-depth study of the international market was carried out. It showed a lack of a mid-segment brand in the Off-highway tire industry, which was able to compete with premium brands, on both quality and customer care. A strategic decision was taken to enter into this segment. In the same year, BKT went international with intense activities of market penetration, first in Europe (starting from the UK), then in US.
A key moment and a real landmark for the company was the year 2004, particularly in view of BKT’s prospects in terms of development within the scenario of international competitive markets.
It is indeed during 2004, that BKT entered the segment of radial agriculture tires, a segment that even today represents the company’s main product segment. Thanks to an extremely comprehensive range of products and solutions for the most varied and specific user needs.
A further breakthrough for BKT came with the launch of Agrimax Force tires for high-powered tractors in 2007.
Agrimax Force is the most advanced “IF Technology” tire, which was available only with the market leaders at that time.
Over the last decade BKT’s steps have followed each other at a fast pace. On one hand, this provides evidence for the winning business model adopted by the company, and on the other hand it highlights the increased authority the brand has gained in the sector.
Rajiv then touched upon the importance of modernization of the production facility & stressed upon the importance of new technological breakthroughs in what is one of the most dynamic industry when it comes to the advancement of product technology.
Rajiv Poddar: Huge investments were made to set up a new and modern production facility in Chopanki, in north India. Today in this segment at BKT we have the production capability for the sizes ranging from 17.5” to 49” and in early 2017 will go up to 51”. This gave the company immediate recognition as a main player, even in the most demanding applications of the OTR radial segment also.
Looking at BKT’s history, from its early beginnings up to date, our multifold growth is evident. Compared to the first lot of land of 15 acres, where the company’s first production plant was established, end of last year we officially inaugurated our Bhuj plant, an industrial site of over312 acres, in addition to the existing plants at Aurangabad, Bhiwadi, Chopanki and Dombivali.
From an initial production of 10 MT per day, we are currently producing 600 MT per day, which will eventually reach 800 MT per day by 2017.
If we were to look at the history of BKT, it becomes quite clear, where Rajiv is coming from when he talks about the recognition garnered by BKT over the years. BKT at present offers 2,400 SKU’s. Compare that to that of the 200 SKU’s it offered at the start. BKT makes more than 300 molds a year to ensure final product quality & design in comparison to 100 molds a year. Just in case someone needed to know the numbers.
Add to that the fact that at present BKT products are sold in over 130 countries across the world through their network of channel partners. The story of BKT’s success gets even more interesting as Rajiv speaks about the future of the company.
Rajiv Poddar: We have been growing, including our partners and customers, in line with our mission of: Growing Together.
The most relevant resource for the growth and success of any company is its people. Building a team is a vital ingredient in this process. A team that shares the company’s mission and vision and also contributes positively to achieve a common goal. An effective team is the core strength of any organization.
All this has been achieved at BKT, with effective Human Resource Management over the last few years. This was a challenging and difficult task, but has rewarded us with immense satisfaction.
Young graduates and experienced professionals with sound industry know-how are eager to work with BKT as it has become a desired organization to work with.
For this reason, we have made all efforts to create an encouraging working environment, where individual diversity is appreciated and at the same time, the spirit of team building is nurtured. Both of these are key elements to achieve the company’s targets and to look ahead towards new horizons of growth.
Today, more than 7,000 people are employed at BKT, with an average age of 37 years.
BKT has always paid particular attention to the positioning of its brand on the market and has been committed to creating brand awareness along with excellent reputation.
The history of a company displays the corporate identity, its values, its mission and vision; like-wise our brand represents the blend of this unique and original asset.
The brand is, indeed, the first element identifying a company and making it noticeable. It is more than, mere expression of brilliant graphic creativity. It is the blend of shape and substance, and it is a carrier of company’s core values for all stakeholders.
We have done all efforts to have BKT brand associated with continuous innovation, the ability to offer constant new quality solutions for the consumers, the ability of developing mutually beneficial relationships with all our partners and the ability to contribute to mutual success and growth.
All the marketing initiatives, we have developed since 2009 leads to a clear message: create value for partners and the end users of our products.
At this juncture, I would like to thank all our business partners, end-users, press and media, for being the brand ambassadors for BKT. Without your support and backing, the current milestones would not have been achieved.
As a group, we always believe in Corporate Social Responsibility. It’s the philosophy of giving back, to the society and environment, which are the greatest contributors for the success of any organization.
This awareness of both, social and environmental responsibility has always been part of our DNA. It is our way of living, our corporate mission.
At all our production facilities, we have adopted the most advanced standards for Environment, Health and Safety. In our North Indian plants, over 40% of our power requirements are met through green energy generated through our own wind-turbines.
Stressing upon the CSR activities of BKT Tires, Rajiv mentioned the role BKT plays in doing their part for the public welfare.
Rajiv Poddar: As you have witnessed recently, Bhuj is a social industrial complex hosting residential and recreational facilities for our employees and their families, a hospital and a fire-station for the surrounding community.
The desire to perfectly execute the projects under Corporate Social Responsibility, have resulted into the creation of “BKT-FOUNDATION”, where we care about health and education.
Numerous projects have been aimed to improve infrastructural facilities at hospitals surrounding our plants. Such as, donation of intensive care unit or ambulances.
Support to “Have-a-Heart” foundation for heart valve replacement and purchases of sophisticated devices for the treatment of heart patients, are part of this initiative.
In the field of education, we have been active since 1970s, when in India, girl child was deprived of education. This was taken as a challenge by our founder chairman, who built a school in the State of Rajasthan, offering free education to 300 girls at that time. Today this school has modern amenities offering free education to over 800 girls.
We are actively supporting the projects managed by Akshata Patra Foundation, with its Mid-Day Meal Scheme, a nationwide school lunch program serving food to over 1.4 million children in around 11,000 schools across 10 states in India. This initiative serves dual purpose of education and health. Lot of prominent personalities of the world including Bill Clinton Foundation, are actively supporting this initiative in India.
Yet, the results achieved till date, by no means are a reason to rest. On the contrary, they are a stage on the steady path of growth, which has been differentiating BKT ever since, giving rise to new challenges to come.
And thus came the conclusion of the meeting & the speech with one question playing on loop on everybody’s mind & Rajiv answering that question.
Question: So, what is BKT’s dream? What is BKT’s vision?
Rajiv Poddar: To achieve the leadership in the Off-Highway tire market worldwide.
Undoubtedly, it is an ambitious vision, but we are sure that it is the right goal to pursue. Of course, we operate in a highly competitive and rapidly changing market. With fast-running evolution, the world has no boundaries and both market and customer needs are constantly growing, in terms of quality and quantity. But we are never worried and are ever ready to face all the challenges.
And to master it, we need to continuously adapt to change – Reinventing and Transforming ourselves.
Values such as customer orientation, integrity, transparency, passion, innovation, care for the environment and safety, commitment and social responsibility, these are at the core of our business activity and enable us to look proactively and confidently ahead, for the good of future generations.