Mumbai, India – The Poddars of Balkrishna Industries Ltd – Arvin and Rajiv, father and son and joint managing directors – are betting the farm, so to speak, that the route to success for their firm runs off road toward bigger, more robust tires.
The Poddars are on record as saying they expect their company, more commonly known as BKT Tires, to double in size to a billion dollars or more in the coming three to four years.
To get there they crafted a strategy to become the go-to supplier of off-road tires – from 12-inch industrials to 57-inch earthmover behemoths – in what they describe as the value segment, offering Tier 1-type quality at Tier 2 prices.
Thus the company hopes to exploit a niche between the top tier – where Bridgestone Corp., Group Michelin, Goodyear, Titan International Inc. and Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. operate – and the lower, more entry-level tier that’s the domain of the Chinese, according to Rajiv Poddar, speaking with ERJ’s sister title Tire Business in early December during a visit to the company’s new plant near Bhuj, Gujarat, in northwest India.
The company invited dozens of key customers and journalists from around the world to an event it called the “Game Changer,” where the Poddars likened their strategy to a chess game to illustrate the complexities of crafting a comprehensive business plan.
Planting the seed