Listening is the key to the customer-oriented product range.

The Indian tyre manufacturer BKT has grown significantly over the past ten years. The company with headquarters in Mumbai, India, has opened two production facilities as well as its own industrial waste production plant. The expansion of production capacity and the growth-promoting investments in research and development have positioned BKT well to serve the sectors OTR, agriculture and industry worldwide with tyres. We spoke to BKT Chairman Arvind Poddar during the anniversary celebrations.

Bohnenkamp: Mr Poddar, around 30 years after the establishment of your company, BKT products are available in 160 countries around the world. What are the key factors behind this amazing success story?

Arvind Poddar: Our guiding principle is quality; BKT is obsessed with quality. In addition to the quality of our products, it is also our ability to respond quickly to market needs, our solution-oriented approach and a very close cooperation with local partners to offer the best solution for customers. Indeed, BKT offers a solution for every need - and develops new solutions when there is a demand. We can implement a new product within three months thanks to our substantial production capacity, in-house mould production, own raw material production and manufacturing know-how.

Bohnenkamp: That's certainly a strong unique selling point. However, it should also be noted that other market participants are increasingly trying to mimic BKT's path to success. How do you view these new competitors, especially those from India?

Arvind Poddar: Our speed and our strong focus on quality are important unique selling points, but not the only ones. So far we are also the only tyre manufacturer with a significant industrial carbon black production. 60 percent of it goes into our own production. The remainder finds buyers outside of our company, where we also serve customers outside of the tyre business. Then our industrial waste ends up as pigment in inks or plastic. And yes, many other brands are noticing our success. Everyone wants this growth. But are these supposed competitors also ready to do the groundwork? We have so-called competitors in India who use entire text passages and product images from our catalogues and who don't even bother to remove the "BKT" logo from our photos. I'm not overly concerned about that.

Bohnenkamp: You aim to nearly double your turnover in the next few years. Do you have specific sectors in mind for this growth?

Arvind Poddar: No. BKT will distribute the desired growth across all areas. And we will acquire new sectors with our usual high quality. Next year, for example, we will be launching truck construction site tyres and rubber tracks on the market. This is the direct result of our customer-first strategy. We identify needs and implement them. Listening is the key to a customer-oriented product range.