Thai Hua Rubber – Set to Tap the Boom
(India/Rubber Asia) Thai Hua Rubber (THR), a leading natural rubber supplier to tyre manufacturers, is making vigorous efforts to emerge as a top global player by tapping the enduring NR boom to its maximum. “Our idea is to emerge as a dominant global player covering the entire rubber business cycle as fast as we can and in the most credible manner,” says Mr Luckchai Kittipol, the company’s ever dynamic founder and CEO.
The latest plans include major marketing forays into China and India, the emerging power centres of global rubber industry and ambitious plantation initiatives in potential Asian countries. For instance, in Laos, the company will be investing US$50 million to develop NR plantations in 40,000 hectares during the current decade.
Over the years, Thai Hua has established a solid customer base both at home and abroad. Its prestigious buyers range from small rubber dealers to some of the world’s most well-known companies including: Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear, Pirelli, Yokohama, Triangle, Cooper – Chengshan, Shanghai Tire, Grandtour Tire, Hankook, Kumho, Apollo, Ceat, J.K and MRF. The company currently exports to various worldwide destinations such as China, Japan, Korea, India, Europe and USA with maximum exports of 25 per cent to China.
Thai Hua Rubber has a full-fledged registered company in Shanghai named Rubber Focus Co. Ltd. The company’s involvement with the Indian market is more than 15 years old. It has its representative in Mumbai and is in close association with All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA).
According to Mr Kittipol, who is heading the Thai Rubber Association for a second consecutive term, the company will continue increasing its export volume to China and India in the backdrop of the growing demand for NR and the highly positive GDP growth of the two countries. If the latest move by India to allow NR imports from Thailand at reduced import tariff mater-ialises, it would certainly provide a golden opportunity for companies like THR to gain a decisive foothold in the Indian market.
The company runs 15 manufacturing facilities capable of producing more than 450,000 tonnes a year of various NR grades including Ribbed Smoked Sheets (RSS), Standard Thailand Rubber (STR), latex 60 per cent drc, compound rubber & CMB. The company has 3,500 employees. “Our stringent quality management contributes much to the company’s present successes. Most of our factories have won ISO 9001 & 14001 certifications,” says Mr Reyong Kittipol, Executive Vice President.
Environmental concerns are also high on the company’s priority list, says Mr Luckchai Kittipol. “This is because we strongly believe that it is our responsibility to preserve the ecology”, he added. All the manufacturing plants are equipped with efficient waste water treatment and smog controlling facilities as per international standards.
According to Rubber Study Group (IRSG), Thailand’s NR production will grow 4.6 per cent in 2007 to 3,105,000 tonnes, against 2,968,000 tonnes in 2006. The projection for the year 2009 is 3,170,000 tonnes. THR Group’s sales volume stood at 270,000 tonnes in 2006 which is expected to touch 322,235 tonnes in the current year.