- Rajiv Poddar, Joint Managing Director, Balkrishna Industries
With strict guidelines, the government has allowed organisations to restart their business. What are the operational strategies you have adopted to commence your business taking into consideration safety concerns of the employees as well growth of he organisation?
We at BKT are prioritizing our staff’s safety and have come up with a variety of measures to ensure the same. We have been following strict guidelines and have stringent steps in place for our manufacturing plants. We have also implemented a work from home system for most of our employees in Corporate office & Field, giving our managers the flexibility to engage with our customers over phone / VC. We have slowly commenced our operations, but with utmost caution and with a special emphasis on safety of all our employees. We have also surged our internal communication and are always connected to each other. In BKT, communication, both internal & external, is at it’s best.
The government has allowed private miners participation in coal mining in India? How is this going to benefit your business?
BKT has already lined up tires according to the specific market needs of international and Indian. The opening up of new opportunities within the domestic segment will further enhance our opportunities. We have already developed a wide range of ALL STEEL RADIAL tires in Earth Moving & construction equipment segment and are fully equipped to service the private customers in Indian coal sector. Our ’s is a typical module – Make in India with Global standard and service the Global markets
What are your offerings for the coal mining sector?
BKT is the only company in India to establish most modern facilities to manufacture Hi-quality OTR Radial and also bias tires. A range of Giant OTR tires will be of great advantage to us for making foot step in Global market and also service Indian Coal Mining sector. Coal Mining segment in India is expected to grow at a higher pace to meet country’s growing energy requirement. Requirement of Giant Earthmoving Machines are expected to have high demand and of course the Large / Ultra Large tires will have a rise in demand Indian markets, particularly in Coal sector, being the largest mining sector in India. BKT is all set to meet future demand of OTR tires and the Bhuj manufacturing unit was a game changer. We offer the best in class technology, comes from the most sophisticated R&D at Bhuj
Technology enabled tires embedded with sensors and IoTs are slowing finding footholds. What are the R&Ds conducted at your end in Smart tire technology?
A Giant OTR tire has very large dimension and weighing between 1.3 to 2.5 m ton, which makes them very sensitive while operating in severe terrain & extreme temperature. A tire is the only ground contact for a vehicle and hence performance efficiency of a vehicle depend largely on Tire performance. Hence for a Giant Earthmover Transport machine (Dump Trucks), operating with a huge load and in severe mining condition, OTR tire tends to generate heat; Excessive heat generation can be detrimental to tire’s performance. Inflation Pressure keeps changing after a dump truck traverse certain distance. Variation of IP, High or Low, can cause tire failure. Key performance factors of a Giant Transport tire - Inflation pressure & temperature and these two factors can be monitored using Sensors, to be fitted on the wheel rim or inside the tire. Such data monitoring helps the user to take immediate corrective actions which saves very expensive tires and down time of the machine as well. We are already offering this service to our key buyers in India and abroad
How are you integrating Sustainability with your products?
We have used the most sophisticated R&D technology to upgrade the products and give our customers the best value for money products. Also educate our customers on Tire application to select the right tire to get optimum life. Our innovation is aimed at creating the products with better technology to benefit our customers hence creating a legacy of sustainability.
Dealers are the vital link for success between the organization and the end users. Please take us through your dealers’ network and the various education programs you conduct for them?
When it comes to service Mining segment, we directly handle the large institutional customers. However, when we service construction equipment/ Port etc and Agricultural tire segments, we service our end-customers through a strong chain of distributors. BKT has a very strong distributor & Dealer network in most districts within the country to reach our end-users, and one of the ways in which BKT ensures that the customers’ wishes are fulfilled, is by providing the best training programs for all our dealers across the country. The training programs help them gain a deep understanding of various tires and gain insights into the market specifics of their region. We also conduct number of pan-India exhibitions and various events across every region of the country, to further help our distributors / dealers / customers to learn about our product range. We are constantly in touch with our end-users through the promotional events
In light of government decision to commercialise coal mining, is there a plan to revamp your production in anticipation of demand or to launch new OTR tire in the market?
A wide scale production of mining tires has already been on in full swing, and by the first quarter of 2021 we are set to launch tire for 240 tonnes Giant dump truck, that will put BKT’s technology at Global level. First to produce such a Ultra Large All Steel Radial tire inIndia, and will be proud moment for BKT.