The rising usage of automobiles has given a boost to the radial manufacturers. Because of which the already established players in the tyre manufacturing industry has started taking the franchise route to meet the surging demands of the market. In an interview with FIHL, A.S.Mehta, Marketing Director, JK Tyre shares the success story of his company.
Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Tell us something about JK Tyre Steel Wheels?
A.S. Mehta (ASM): Steel Wheels is an extended arm of JK Tyre distribution network, which has helped us in reaching out to the customers and showcasing our high quality products and services. JK Tyre Steel Wheels has redefined tyre retailing by providing a wide range of JK Tyre passenger car tyres and tyre care solutions in a unique ambience. These showrooms are equipped with high technology wheel servicing equipment providing value added services like computerised wheel alignment, wheel balancing, automated tyre changing, tyre rotation, air care all under one roof.
RK: What inspired JK Tyre to take the franchise route?
ASM: We have taken the franchise route in order to meet the surging needs of the customers. JK Tyre believes in bringing the best in products and services to our valued customers. With this objective, we have established a nationwide chain of franchised retail outlets branded as ‘JK Tyre Steel Wheels’.
RK: What is the eligibility criterion for selecting the franchisees of your company?
ASM: The basic requirements for taking up the franchisees of JK Tyre Steel Wheels include:
RK: How many franchisees do you have and in which cities?
ASM: We have a retail chain of over 125 Steel Wheel outlets spread across the country from Srinagar in north to Madurai in south and from Surat in west to Aizawal in the east.
RK: What support do you provide to your franchisees?
ASM: The company supports the franchisees by sharing the cost of showroom development, interior and exterior renovation of the showroom. Also the company provides car wheel service equipments at subsidised rates to its dealers and guidance on tyre care and maintenance to the franchisees.
RK: What are the challenges faced by the franchisee in this business?
ASM: One of the challenges faced by the franchisee is to provide optimum support system to the customers and also to provide world class products and services which will give them an edge over other competitors.
RK: Any advice for the young entrepreneurs?
ASM: The automotive industry has got tremendous growth potential and Steel Wheels franchise is a wonderful opportunity to work with. JK Tyre is one of the leading tyre brands that has been recogonised as ‘Superbrand’. It has also ranked the highest in the JD Power TCSI Study 2009 to create differenciation by offering superior services to its customers.
RK: What are the future plans of the company in terms of expansion through franchising?
ASM: The Company will continue to expand its Steel Wheels retail outlet network in metro and semi-metro areas of the country. Apart from this, the company also has plans to expand its franchisee network to Tier I and II towns.
RK: Share with us any new venture that your company has entered into?
ASM: JK Tyre acquired Compania Hulera Tornel, a leading tyre manufacturer in Mexico in 2008. Then in 2009, the company enhanced its OTR tyre and truck radial production capacities. Now the company is setting up a new plant for passenger car radials as well as truck radials to meet the growing demands.