Al-Dobowi celebrates founder’s 70th with book and all-season tyre launch
Al-Dobowi group celebrated its founder’s 70th year with the launch of all-season tyre.
During the recent Tire Cologne exhibition Tyres & Accessories met with Al-Dobowi founder and chairman Surender Kandhari and son and vice-chairman Jasjeev Kandhari. We even heard a little about Kandhari senior’s latest project – a book.
But first a subject that on everyone’s lips in Cologne – European anti-Chinese truck tyre tariffs. In short, Surender Kandhari acknowledged that Chinese tyre production market consolidation continues, with policies such as the tariffs continuing to put pressure on the supply side. This therefore makes growth challenging. However, Al-Dobowi’s Chinese-based tyre manufacturing partners (which includes the well-known and fast-growing Linglong Tires) are said to be providing lots of options to help move things forwards. For example, the truck tyres Linglong makes for Al-Dobowi in China are destined for the US and other non-tariffed import markets. Meanwhile, the plant has got a new and modern tyre manufacturing plant in Thailand, which can produce tyres for tariff-affected markets such as Europe. Indeed that is why the Al-Dobowi stand was populated with Thai-made tyres.
In the interim, Surender Kandhari is clear that Al-Dobowi’s priority is to support its distributors. At the same time, as and when the impact of tyre production consolidation is felt “we must find space for distributors” the Kandharis explained.
The circle of life
Having started off in the tyre business back in 1969, Surender Kandhari is now approaching half a century in the business. That’s why, in order to celebrate 50 years in tyres and 70 years of his life, Surender Kandhari has written a book aiming to auto-biographically offer a holistic insight in life in the tyre business.
“People often ask if I am planning to retire. Why should I retire? I enjoy the business and I enjoy the work I do for charity”, Kandhari senior explained. And what varied work it is. As well as running a multi-faceted tyre contract manufacturer, importing, distributing, retailing and retreading business Surender Kandhari also represents the Dubai government on interfaith issues, built a US$20 million Sikh temple, which offers free food daily to up to 15,000 people on festival days, and – as we have seen is trying his hand at writing. The book, which is scheduled for a September release, will be called “Temple of my dreams”.
Product-wise Al-Dobowi exhibited a new Infinity-branded all-season tyre. Known as the Ecofour, the all-season rubber is coming to market in a launch range of 24 sizes.
“Ecofour will further strengthen Infinity’s coverage and brand equity and offer an advanced performance solution for all weather conditions. The tyre’s performance corresponds with the rest of the high-quality Infinity tyre range, as confirmed by recent independent European summer tyre test reports,” comments Riccardo Costa, general manager Europe for Infinity.