The Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) Annual Convention 2018, the flagship event of the tyre industry in India, concluded with a call for closer collaboration between the tyre industry and its stakeholders especially automobile OEMs for achieving the mega potential of the tyre industry’s rich value-chain.
As one of the largest conferences on the automotive calendar of India, the convention brought together automotive and tyre industry leaders, policy makers, government officials, thought leaders and consultants. The deliberations helped chalk out the agenda for the future while discussing current realities of the tyre industry.
In his welcome address, Satish Sharma, chairman, ATMA said, “Having played its well deserved role as a lead sector of manufacturing, the tyre industry in India is at the cusp of significant growth. At a time when the private investment cycle in India is yet to be revived, the Indian tyre industry has invested over Rs 45,000 crore ($7 billion) in recent years.”
“FY2018 has been a breakthrough year for the tyre industry. The government has supported the tyre sector by way of imposing Anti Dumping Duty (ADD) on truck and bus radial tyres from China and by increasing the customs duty on tyres to 15 percent (from 10%) in the Union Budget,” added Sharma.
The chief guest for the inaugural session Suresh Prabhu, union minister of Commerce and Industry, said: “All stakeholders (producers and consumers of rubber) need to work together along with the government to arrive at a policy that is conducive to the growth of the Indian rubber sector and meets the needs of both rubber growers and consumers of rubber”. He stated that the tyre industry is the engine of mobility and the soul of the auto sector, the growth in the tyre sector indicates a growing auto sector and in-turn a growing economy.
That the tyre industry is globally competitive and is geared to take on the world came out clearly in the high-profile panel discussion which saw participation from Neeraj Kanwar, vice-chairman and MD, Apollo Tyres; Dr Raghupati Singhania, chairman and MD, JK Tyre & Industries, and Arun Mammen, vice-chairman and MD, MRF. The industry captains echoed their commitment for continuing manufacturing excellence and make a mark globally.
Rakesh Batra, partner and national leader automotive, Ernst and Young made a theme presentation on ‘Redefining Tyre Industry – OEM partnership’. In a panel discussion, four top executives of the tyre industry with years of experience in partnering with auto OEMs discussed the future of mobility and the roles of the tyre and auto sector. The panellists were Ajay Sevekari, director, Bridgestone India; Minaz Hassam, CFO and MD, Continental India; V K Misra, technical director, JK Tyre and Koshy Varghese, executive vice- president, MRF.
While terming the Indian tyre industry as a mature and established industrial segment, the chief guest of the valedictory session, Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, exhorted the industry to take disruptions in the automotive sector in its stride and continue to remain focused on manufacturing excellence.
In his theme address on ‘Tyre Industry – Government Partnership’ Anant Goenka, MD, Ceat and vice-chairman, ATMA said, “The tyre industry and the government have been working in sync with each other and in the coming days, the industry looks forward to much closer cooperation.” He emphasised the need to accelerate the process of ‘Natural Rubber Policy’ formulation for optimum growth of the rubber value-chain and addressal of the inverted duty structure.
An important highlight of the first ATMA convention was the release of a series of reports and studies. A tyre industry research report titled ‘Turning the Wheels of Progress’ was released by Suresh Prabhu, which was prepared by ‘Thought Arbitrage Research Institute (TARI)’ and headed by Kaushik Dutta. The report underlines the tyre industry's competitiveness, export achievements and the policy enablers which could accelerate growth. Additionally. Amitabh Kant released a study on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by the tyre sector in India, and a commemorative volume on Indian tyre industry’s journey over the years was also released.
ATMA Fleet Management Awards
Fleet management companies have been playing a key role in improving competitiveness of the transportation sector. At the first ATMA Convention, the apex body also launched the first fleet management awards to recognise the excellence in the sector. Five fleet management awards were conferred in the field of Drivers’ training and HR practices; Safety Initiatives; Adoption of Technology/ Telematics; Adoption of Efficiency Measures and Corporate Social Responsibility. The winners were presented the awards by Amitabh Kant.