BKT travels to Italy to show off its ag tires

May 16, 2012

Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT) recently took more than 100 dealer personnel representing over 30 distributors from the Americas to Milan, Italy.

The company wanted to highlight its commitment to the quality of its products and showcase the performance of its Mega Tractor tires under testing at the ISMA test track in Treviglio, just outside Milan. Treviglio is also called "the tractor town" for the presence of the SAME Deutz-Fahr headquarters, a large tractor manufacturer based there.

Dealers were able to watch BKT tires perform in numerous tests at the facility.

BKT Vice Chairman and Managing Director Arvind Poddar (pictured with dealers in Treviglio) was in attendance at the event and shared some of his thoughts about the business with Modern Tire Dealer. “Our objective is to be number one in the agricultural market.”

The company only focuses on off-highway tires, and Poddar says BKT tires must be one of the top quality products in the market. “We focus on pre-sale, that is, finding the right tire for the application, then post-sale, helping the customer properly maintain the tire.”

Poddar views the agricultural and OTR segments of the tire industry to be areas of continued growth, despite the current economy. He said the company’s annual sales are currently at $611 million and they intend to reach $1.36 billion in 2014. This would represent 10% of the world’s global market for agricultural tires. BKT’s worldwide sales are broken down as follows:

* 50% Europe,

* 25% Americas,

* 10% India, and

* "the remainder (15%) coming from the rest of the world."

Overall, BKT has a 15% share of the world’s original equipment market, although that number is only 4% in the United States. The company’s sales are currently 70% bias and 30% radial, but the plans are to be at 50/50 by 2014.

As reported in the May issue of MTD, the company is in the start-up stage of its fourth factory. The factory is in Bhuj, India, and will eventually have a capacity of 90,000 metric tons (click here to read the story).

According to Poddar, the facility is located on enough acreage to easily expand as demand dictates it. The company is depending on this factory, plus on-going expansions at its existing factories to loosen up its current supply constraints.

BKT is part of the Siyaram-Poddar Group, a diversified Indian industrial conglomerate with sales in excess of $800 million. The Group is involved in textiles, garments, chemicals, paper and tires.

Look for more information about BKT in the upcoming June issue of MTD.