Apollo Tyres today held its 47th annual general meeting and reported its audited results for the financial year ended March 31, 2020. Apart from outlining a course for the future, chairman Onkar S. Kanwar highlighted the company’s growth path thus far, new investment from Warburg Pincus and touched upon the various milestones towards the vision of making Apollo Tyres, the “premier tyre company with a diversified and multinational presence."
He started off by highlighting the difficult times following the Covid-19 pandemic that continues to impact all. “Cases continue to rise around the world. We don’t know how long the uncertainties around this pandemic will continue and therefore being safe is the need of the hour.”
He gave a broad overview of the economic challenges at the moment, “The Indian economy has obviously been deeply impacted. Specifically, the performance of the Indian automobile industry is of concern as it has contracted by around 14 percent. Despite the tough economic play in India, and the challenging environment in the Indian and European automobile segment, we continued to work to achieve our vision of being ‘a premier tyre company with a diversified and multinational presence’.”
To achieve the vision, he believes, “that one of the aspects is to make our company a leader in corporate governance. It is heartening to note that the globally respected investment firm Warburg Pincus made an investment of $150 million and will be joining the Apollo Tyres' Board. This is indeed a vote of confidence in our business, management team and growth prospects and I am confident that it will further strengthen our board and governance.”
According to Kanwar, the last financial year saw the company focus on three clear paths: “Consolidate our market position in the existing markets and seek new markets/segments; continue investment in both brands – Apollo and Vredestein; capacity expansion via greenfield facilities and to seek other growth opportunities."
“Building strong brands for Apollo and Vredestein has been a key goal for everyone at Apollo. In pursuit of this, we launched a successful 360-degree campaign of the highly loved and watched ‘Ganga’ TV commercial with cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and legendary Indian music maestro A R Rahman.”
"In Europe, Apollo Tyres launched the new brand identity of our over 110-year-old brand – Vredestein. Kanwar pointed out how, “This will allow us to position Vredestein as an even more premium brand and take our marketing activities to the next level. Further, our European operations continued to add more original equipment manufacturers and now the company supplies tyres to auto majors like Volkswagen, Ford and Seat. Our focus on R&D and developing best-in-class tyres continues to win us accolades. Leading auto magazine Auto Bild recognised us as the ‘All-Season Manufacturer of the Year’, while prestigious US-based Consumer Reports named the Vredestein Wintrac Pro as the top performance winter tyre.”
Converting an adversity into an opportunity is how Apollo Tyres plan to take forward the business. Kanwar added that, “We continue to find opportunities in a sea of Covid-19 challenges. We inaugurated virtually our seventh plant in Andhra Pradesh and also the new motorcycle radial facility in Gujarat. We have held multiple virtual dealer engagements and have done product launches during the times of coronavirus.”
So what is the expectation going forward? Kanwar says, “It is been a tough journey for all us, since the past two years. With the continuing uncertainties, I see things continue to remain challenging and we will continue to work towards ensuring increased stakeholder value. And I am sure that, like in the past, everyone at Apollo Tyres can continue to bank on your support for having been our partners in this ongoing journey. I thank you for your continued encouragement. I am also thankful for the support that we continue to receive from our banks, financial institutions and the various state governments we operate in, as also national governments in various countries, that enable us to grow and succeed.”
He also touched upon the Government initiative, “wherein the domestic tyre industry was given meaningful relief from the flood of unfairly priced, poor quality imports that were distorting the domestic market. With the need for licensed imports now, the Government has ensured that only quality products not available domestically can be imported. I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the entire industry to thank the Government and the Honourable Prime Minister and assure them that we will repay this faith by significantly increasing production, jobs and exports in the years ahead.”
Apollo Tyres clocks Rs 16,096 crore revenue in FY2020
Apollo Tyres to manufacture high-performance Vredestein car radials in India
Apollo Tyres targets leadership in premium two-wheeler market, opens new plant in Gujarat