India is one of the largest markets for OTR tyres in the world forecasted to reach 15 million units by the end of 2023. All because of growing construction, mining, and agricultural activities coupled with increasing sales of OTR vehicles.
How does the construction industry propel tyre market growth?
The government has unveiled a massive pipeline of construction and infrastructural projects. They include not just metros but also tier two and tier three cities, as well as strategies to strengthen the transportation industry. Increased construction of roads, highways, ports, airports, etc. in the country is responsible for the future growth of the Indian tyre market.
What have been the recent innovations by BKT in tyre design and making in construction vehicles?
Maximising productivity is one of the purposes of innovation and when we look at how OTR tyre innovations have been around changing profiles to wider tyres and larger rim diameters. You’ve got five more inches of width, approximately the same OD, and a shorter sidewall that gives you better torque delivery, better braking, and more stability. That all contributes to greater productivity for the operator.
Another critical factor is the tyre compound. The push for higher load-carrying capacity and higher speeds is pushing innovations like stronger bonding materials within the casing to handle extra stress, and we’ve seen great advances in compounds that protect sidewalls in tough applications like underground mining.
At BKT, we pay great attention to developing products as a response to each territory’s most specific needs. We work with OEMs for their requirements, which undergo tremendous research like applications, underfoot conditions, the requirement of traction, etc., and based on that we provide them solutions.
What are some of the emerging technology trends that will be seen in OTR tyres?
Worldwide, the ‘radialisation’ of OTR tyres has taken place. The mining sector, globally, is witnessing a high demand for ‘all-steel radial’ tyres, which can withstand the severity of extreme operational conditions in both surface and underground mining. However, in India, radialisation is still at its nascent stage.
The India OTR tyre market is largely driven by demand for bias tyres and the percentage of radial tyres usage is limited to 20 per cent to 25 per cent. The introduction of new mining equipment by OEMs like Caterpillar and Komatsu is creating demand for all-steel radial tyres in the mining segment and BKT is championing this trend by extensively supplying to international markets.
What are your plans to increase the company’s market share in India?
In the mining segment, BKT has a wide range of earthmover tyres, both for surface and underground mining, which will surely bring a major change in BKT’s growth in this segment. The recent development of a 57-inch giant ultra-large earthmover tyre has already created a vibration in the coal mining segment.
In the construction and port segment, BKT aims to touch a 25 per cent market share by the end of 2023.
Technologically advanced ‘Commander’ tyres have already proven as the best bet for the agricultural segment, and farmers across India. BKT has a larger market share in the growing agricultural segment.
Today, the company commands around 5 to 6 per cent market share globally with over 3,200 SKUs and exports to more than 160 countries – making BKT one of the major players in the market. To keep the growth to consistent, major investments are made in our core business - tyres, and carbon black - a new segment we have ventured into.