'Earthmax Is a Milestone in BKT’s History,' Says Arvind Poddar
At BKT's celebration of its Earthmax radial OTR tire line in Crete, Greece, on June 6, 2018, Chairman and Managing Director Arvind Poddar took a moment to outline the key values of the company. Here is what he had to say to the attendees who celebrated the 10th anniversary of Earthmax with the company's top executives.
"Building and constructing the Palace of Knossos was a great achievement and advancement in ancient times -- today we would call it a milestone. Similarly, engineering and building our first Earthmax tire has been a great achievement and progress in modern times -- a milestone in BKT’s history.
"For BKT, Earthmax has been a great challenge, if we consider how it came into being in 2008. It happened in a critical moment and behind a backdrop, when the entire world did not assist a period of change, but a completely changing era.
"Indeed, the global crisis touched all markets and had a strong impact on operators in the mining, earthmoving and construction industries led to company reorganization, downsizing and even closing in many cases. Our entire sector and all processes had to be newly defined.
"In spite of the crisis, we firmly believed and were fully aware that there was a space within the vast tire market, where we could bring in our knowledge and expertise, and could find the right positioning and value which has today found recognition worldwide.
"We grasped the opportunity, and now, in the light of the first signs of a recovery, our visionary force and capacity to firmly believe in changing our pathway seems to be rewarded. Of course, our choice to enter the earthmoving segment in 2006 was not reckless, but the result of careful market analysis in a complex and, at that time, under-estimated segment with a few premium players on the one hand, and smaller entities on the other hand -- mostly of Asian origin with definitely poor product quality.
"As its name says, Earthmax has a close link to the terrain it operates on -- the earth. A tough environment that every product out of the range is ready to face and to master. Earthmax is a tool but also your mate in the most challenging operations, that ensures safety, performance and quality, as well as time and cost savings."
Poddar said Earthmax is "a true representative" of BKT's corporate history and values. He pointed out that some of the lineup's premium features show a "surprising similarity" with the company's strategic choices.
"One of Earthmax's distinguishing marks is its large footprint. Leaving a footprint or a footmark -- in other words, an impression -- has always been BKT´s aim towards our market, leaving a sign to followers, being a reference point and guide, without fearing the barriers, but being certainly one step ahead.
"Talking of resistance, in the literal sense, means the capacity of withstanding impacts such as forces, cuts, wear, heat or any other adverse conditions. Applied to our company, it is the ability of facing and overcoming any situation or obstacle.
"Another attribute is robustness. For a tire, this means being strong and powerful to support the vehicle and its movements. In a similar way, we can see BKT’s market approach. Being robust means staying upright and withstanding possible counter-attacks, sometimes even unfair, and being ready for any change.
"Traction as well is another key feature that needs no explanation for a tire. In our corporate reality, the metaphor shows the ability and concepts of BKT’s leadership, being a forerunner, always going and thinking ahead.
"The next plus is versatility. This is the expression of BKT’s ability to adapt to all environments, to all industries. As you might remember, in the distant past, our company had started successful operations in the textile business. Being versatile means being flexible, cooperative, tolerant, and easy-going.
"Despite its dimensions and the imposing built of the vehicles they equip, stability is a must for the entire Earthmax lineup, a key feature that leads to further benefits like safety and reliability. The same goes for a manager who must do his daily job in such a way that he guarantees stability to those who trust and rely on him. This attribute also implies to contribute to market stability, since companies need a firm reference point they can count on.
"Closely linked to stability, is road holding -- the perfect balance on any terrain. And in business, it is the trait of keeping promises, sticking to beliefs and values, in order to remain both, trustworthy and consistent.
"Durability seems to be an obvious tire feature, the outcome of knowhow, skills, expertise and research in advanced technologies. Similarly, a healthy company requires faith and courage and strong passion stemming from our work, aiming at operating for a long time and for our users’ benefit.
"Finally comfort, a great benefit, which obviously relates to the driver’s well-being. In terms of our corporate philosophy, it refers to the attention we pay to our co-workers, to their quality of life, their well-being and the common good.
"As a consequence, I have to mention the BKT Foundation, which has been committed for a long time to support charity activities for the benefit of people, sustaining nutrition programs as well as projects for girls and children education, or sponsoring humanitarian activities across the world.
"Only big projects go hand in hand with big motives, and big motives call for big strength. That is why the dimensions of our tires are simply 'big.' They remind us that nothing is given and easy, since every tire is the result of tireless research, and a strong desire for improvement. It is also the result of a new challenge that has been taken up for the purpose of having the lead and keeping promises.
"In all this, we shall not forget future generations. It is our duty to transmit such values guiding us today and our business in such a way that they will have the right tools to continue our path, to bring in new ideas and new approaches to the market -- yet, keeping in mind, as we did -- the faith to our history and role as well as the underlying commitment and passion."
BKT is short for Balkrishna Industries Ltd., an Indian company with four tire manufacturing plants. For more information on BKT and its products, check out these links: