JK Tyres & Industries Ltd, part of JK Organisation, is ready to launch a new set of innovative marketing activities even as the company has increased its marketing budget by 50 per cent in the new fiscal year.
Speaking on the marketing strategy, Raghupati Singhania, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, JK Tyre & Industries Ltd, told exchange4media, “For us, our marketing strategy refers to good market share in our respective lines of business, which are truck buyers business, truck radial business, passenger car business, pharma sectors, and so on. In each of these areas, we have our targets and market shares and we achieve them. Over the years you might have noticed, our brand promotion strategy has been on the planks of motorsports. In fact, we have brought motorsports to where it is today. Not just that, we took it to the international platform as well. So, motorsports is our advertising plank.”
Speaking further, he said, “We have come a long way in creating continuous consumer contacts and have taken a number of special initiatives, including fleet management, which is a first-of-its-kind in the country. Of course, others have also joined in.”
In terms of marketing activities, the brand is actively organising and participating in the events relevant to its nature. Singhania shared, “We are participating in regional festivals of every part of our country where we have our trucking business, be it Diwali in the North or Pongal in the South. We also hold painting competitions, particularly for children of LCV owners and fleets, which have been a tremendous success with the participation of thousands of children across 55 locations in India. More such initiatives are on the anvil.”
Given the thrust on such activities, the company has increased its overall marketing spends by 50 per cent this year, as informed by Neeraj Bhatia, Sr. General Manager, Marketing & OEM Sales, JK Tyres & Industries Ltd.
Commenting on the sales composition in terms of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and retail sales, Singhania shared, “In the case of truck and bus tyres, OEM sales form 14 per cent, while the rest is from the replacement market. For car tyres, 55-60 per cent is from sales, and the rest is from after-sales.”
Meanwhile, JY Tyres, along with its advertising partner Contract Advertising, has come up with a first-of-its-kind recycling initiative, wherein it has associated with the Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) to re-use tyres using unconventional methods and innovatively creating footwear and accessories from old and recycled tyres.
Speaking on this initiative, Ravi Deshpande, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, Contract Advertising India, explained, “We were looking for ideas to create awareness on being environment-friendly and really big in terms of scale, something that tangibly makes a difference. It then occurred to us that leftover tyres are becoming a nuisance, therefore, we decided to see if we could recycle them in such a form that the life of a tyre could be extended beyond the usage in cars. Thus was born the idea of making footwear and accessories as well as furniture and all kinds of usable things from old tyres. This contributed towards the protecting the environment as the old tyres are not burnt or abandoned.”
The social responsibility element in the idea makes it more viable and easy to reach. As Deshpande added, “If the idea is powerful, it automatically wins hearts and has an impact. I saw this idea on paper in a sketchy form and knew we were sitting on something big. The client was extremely supportive of taking this mission forward. We knew that an idea of this kind makes news easily and reaches out in no time. It is an advantage as the message of being environment-friendly is truly satisfying. We really want to bring about change by letting more and more people know how they can keep Mother Earth in good shape.”
Taking this forward, JK Tyres plans to organise exhibitions and use various other industry platforms to create awareness on the concept.
Trends, Competition and more
On the new trends in the market affecting the tyre industry in India, Singhania said, “There are two trends – comfort and mileage. With the launch of better cars in India, the comfort factor has become important. Now, with better roads, ‘speed’ has also become an important factor.”
Speaking on the competition, he said, “MRF, Bridgestone and Apollo Tyres are our major competitor. We have taken up service as the differentiator – be it pre-sales service, after-sales service, or consumer contact service, and of course, the product has to be ultimately superior.”
On the price rise issue he said, “Unfortunately, I don’t see the prices coming down, in fact, there is a steep increase in rubber prices, which is impacting tyre prices.”