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BKT: A tireless campaigner

Off-highway tyre manufacturing major BKT is poised to grow its presence overseas and more than double its turnover by 2020
Balkrishna Industries (BKT) is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of off-highway tyres with over 92 per cent exported to more than 130 countries. Powered by strong product innovation BKT has emerged as a “One Stop Shop” for all off-highway tyre solutions.
The company 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. The plant is expected to be fully operational by third quarter of 2016. “The Bhuj plant will enhance our total capacity by 75 per cent. It will add about 120,000 tonnes per year in addition to our 180,000 tonnes obtained from the other three plants,” informed Rajiv Poddar, Joint Managing Director, BKT.
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.
Comprehensive 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 be 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.
Talking on the company’s product range, Rajiv Poddar explained, “With the future of off-highway tyre segment being radial, our 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 we have radials up to 54-inch. We also have specialised radial tyres for high speed crane applications.”
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.
Focus on R&DWith its emphasis and regular investment in the research and development, BKT complies with all national and international regulatory, statutory and pollution control norms. It designs, develops and releases 150-160 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,” informed Rajiv Poddar.
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.
“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 tyre giants. We always have to have an edge over technology if we have to compete with them. If you look at all steel OTR radial tyres for mining, we are the pioneers from India.”
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.
Future roadmapBKT has been in the business for 27 years. Talking on the company’s future roadmap Arvind Poddar said, “Our vision is to double the current 6 per cent market share in speciality segments by 2020.”_________________________________
“Our vision is to double the current 6 per cent market share in speciality segments by 2020.”Arvind Poddar, Chairman and Managing Director, BKT_______________________________________
“BKT is the first off-highway tyre manufacturer in India to be REACH compliant for its entire range of products and has the world’s fastest turnaround time of 8 – 10 weeks for new product development.”Rajiv Poddar, Joint Managing Director, BKT


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