As the industry endeavors to tide over the unprecedented disruptions caused by COVID-19, the solidarity of leadership and management across fields have held forts for the companies. One such name who has played a key role in standing tall during the crisis has been Mr. Anshuman Singhania, Managing Director of JK Tyre & Industries. Under his leadership JK Tyre has implemented the latest technologies in the manufacturing, product designs and Sales & Marketing at JK Tyre. He was recently elected as the Chairman of the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA). Starting his career from the shop floor as an apprentice, Mr. Singhania with his determination has successfully served several positions across planning, production, product development, quality control, stores and purchase, finance as well as sales and marketing.
Under his leadership, the company also managed to upgrade its long-term issuer rating to ‘IND A/Stable’ on the back of a strong recovery in sales and financial performance. With the continued efforts of the entire team, the tyre maker has been churning out excellent performance in terms of sales and profitability in the post-Covid-period. This also came in handy with the challenges associated with decision making and required a rapidly adaptive response not usually associated with leadership in more ‘business-as-usual’ times.
The Indian tyre industry is a shining example of a homegrown industry that has outperformed the global competition. However, the industry is yet to receive the due recognition that other Indian industries such as IT and Pharma get. However, India, under the current leadership is witnessing many positive and rapid strides for the tyre industry, with the element of ‘vocal for local’ taking the-center stage in all these developments.
The Self-Reliant India
2020 was the year giving a push to many small and industry-shaping manufacturers to emphasize India being a self-reliant nation and witnessed a slew of measures, policies, and developments from the government to counter the economic impact. This will lead to quality homegrown products at competitive prices, providing benefits not just to the consumer but the tyre makers as well. The tyre industry already supports over one million natural rubber planters, as the tyre industry consumes 70% of the supply, and this figure is only expected to mushroom in the times ahead.
Even Globally, there is a movement by many nations such as the US and Japan to reduce their burden of import dependence on China, due to the prevailing political, social, and economic conditions and the Indian tyre industry can fulfill this demand by leveraging this global demand-supply gap with help of the Indian Government. Pushing exports and reducing trade deficit.
April 2020 was a period when there were zero sales for the auto industry, for the first time in decades of manufacturing. However, due to the element of necessity that the tyre industry projects, manufacturers were still able to push sales. Fortunately, demand for tyres, particularly from the farm and commercial sector, has not been affected much and the manufacturers have seen continuous demand from these market segments.
Catalyzing digital transformation
Even though the auto industry as a whole reported losses and growth contracted severely in the corresponding period last year, the tyre industry managed to put forward single-digit growth in the previous Financial Year. One of the key growth factors has been molding strategies and adopting to growing trends like digitalization which specially enabled company to overcome the Covid-19 challenges. Riding high on the growth of digitalization, the tyre industry witnessed the majority of manufacturers bridging the gap between the demand and supply even in times of brick and mortar retail demand going down due to the situation.
Leading through uncertainty
Keeping the time of debates and deliberations behind us, the need of the hour is to emphasize the ways and means for individuals and businesses to recover in the new normal. As predicted by experts, we are already witnessing the second wave of the outbreak, with possibility of reinstatement lockdown and night curfews, and labor migrations happening across the nation, leading to many supply side disruptions. Though, the current situation is similar to what was experienced last year, the Industry players, are now better prepared to deal with this kind of situation.
With the entire industry facing challenges even in 2021, business owners across the board must focus their time on improving efficiencies and business sustainability, with overheads rising due to the prevailing situation. It is with the commitment and diligence of leadership experts like the newly elect Chairman of ATMA, the employees and companies are settling into the new rhythm of things. While there is no playbook to refer to, it is the experience and growth mindset of the top management that businesses can easily navigate through the treacherous business landscape once again.
In summation, the tyre industry and manufacturing as a whole are going to recover. India is being looked upon as a future global manufacturing economy, taking the reins from China, which will not only boost economic growth but will also make way for a new generation of entrepreneurs. The bottom line is, that there is more than just recovery on the cards for the modern Indian manufacturer, there are also growth and prosperity.