Addressing the company’s board of directors and shareholders at the Annual General Meeting held today, the Chairman of Apollo Tyres, Onkar S Kanwar said that 2015 financial year was a watershed year for the tire manufacturer. Speaking at the company’s 43rd Annual General Meeting, Kanwar said that in the past year, Apollo had become the first Indian tire manufacturer to set up a greenfield facility outside the country. The company has begun construction of a greenfield facility in Hungary for which the country’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, laid the foundation stone. If all goes as scheduled, the plant in Hungary will commence production by early 2017, thus catering to the need for a larger portfolio of products to suit the preferences of Apollo’s customers in the lucrative Europe tire market.
In 2015, Apollo also began its campaign named “Rock the Road” to gain higher visibility in key markets. “Rock the Road” is the biggest online campaign in the history of the company’s Vredstein brand. The campaign’s aim is to increase Vredstein’s visibility and showcase its premium product range and the outstanding performance of Vredstein tires.
Apollo is aiming to achieve its objective of profitable and sustainable growth through strong brands and a wider portfolio. Another key ingredient for success is a strong retail network. The company is working on strengthening its reach in major European markets and as part of this drive recently acquired the German company reifencom GmbH. The acquisition is expected to give Apollo’s brands higher visibility and the company has a strong online presence in many countries like France, Austria, and Switzerland. This will further support the growth of the retail network in Europe and also pave the way for Apollo to sell tires online in other key markets outside Europe.
In the Indian market, Apollo has cemented its leadership position by entering the two-wheeler tires market. The R&D team worked tirelessly during the past two years to develop two-wheeler tires, that have been customized for the perse road conditions in India. The addition of two-wheeler tires to the product portfolio will go a long way to making Apollo a stronger company.
In the next two years, aided by a strong marketing initiative, advertising and R&D efforts, the company’s aim is to establish itself as one of the top 3 players in this segment. Initiatives in other tire segments include the launch of the high-mileage passenger car tire Apollo Amazer 4G Life, that can run up to 100,000 kms, entry into the retreading business and the marketing push for the Truck bus radial segment, in which Apollo is doubling its capacity to consolidate its leadership position.
On the sustainability front, ‘Care for Society’ is one of Apollo’s six key values and drives the company’s socially responsible actions. The company won the prestigious ASIAN CSR Awards 2015 under the Health Enhancement category by the Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). From a CSR perspective, Apollo also recently won the “NIPM Kerala Best Corporate Citizen Award” from the Kerala Chapter of the National Institute of Personnel Management. The company won the award on the basis of its systematic employment of CSR in a manner that integrates well with the company’s overall corporate strategy. Apollo has played an active role in environmental and community oriented projects like a pond conservation project to preserve a 200 year old pond in Perambra and the Kannur Kandal project to preserve and extend the acreage occupied by mangroves.
According to Kanwar, the company has begun its next phase of growth by beginning to work on the goals and aspirations that have been outlined in the company’s Vision 2020. By the end of the decade, Apollo’s goal is to become a premier tire manufacturer with a persified and multinational presence, especially in key markets like India and Europe and to become a preferred employer with the ability to attract the best talent.
Apollo will continue to focus on strengthening its brands, by investing in innovative technologies, expanding into new markets and consolidating its position in existing markets.
Inhis speech, Kanwar expressed his confidence that Apollo is poised to take advantage of the emerging opportunities both in India and outside. The current economic revival in India gives Apollo a chance to benefit from the investments it has made in the past while the economic slowdown at the global level is providing Apollo with opportunities to identify areas for further growth.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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