Apollo sets up a hub in the Middle East
Apollo Tyres Ltd. outlined its plans for the Middle East market at a media gathering in Dubai, recently. The region will be catered to by exports out of India, with Dubai as the hub of operations.
On June 9, Apollo opened its first and largest office outside its operations in India, Southern Africa and The Netherlands. This 2,000-square-foot office will be the company’s base in Dubai and the reporting base for employees in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
The company also has opened a 10,000-square-foot distribution center in Dubai. It will stock passenger, light truck and sand application consumer tires, and cross ply and radial commercial tires.
“As a company, we are currently in our second phase of global expansion,” said Satish Sharma, chief of India operations. “The Middle East region has always been a natural extension of our markets in India. Our tires have enjoyed a very high demand in the region for years now.
“However, due to capacity constraints at our end, we have not been able to fulfill the local demand. I am happy that we have crossed that. With an active sales and service team based here, we will now be able to provide our customers in the Middle East the service and operational excellence they deserve.”
The region has traditionally been one of Apollo’s strongest export markets, accounting for about 30% of export revenues. The company already has a distribution network in the Middle East, spanning 14 countries and 23 “business partners.”
The Middle East also has infrastructure and tire usage very similar to India’s, which is why Apollo’s products have always enjoyed high acceptance in the region.
In addition to being the world’s largest free trade zone, Dubai is strategically located with easy access to the 1.5 billion strong consumer market in the GCC, West Asia, Africa and East Europe.
“This is a high potential market, where the Dubai tire distribution and re-export trade is valued at $ 1.5 billion -- and expected to grow by 30% in the next five years,” said Sharma. “In that time frame I am looking at Apollo garnering a high single digit, if not 10%, of this market’s share.”
Apollo Tyres is projecting investments of around $1.5 million on an annual level, starting this year.