BKT better positioned to serve OEMs with new European HQ

Arvind Poddar and his wife, Vijaylaxmi Poddar, light a lamp to symbolise new beginnings for BKT Europe; they are joined by guests of honour and BKT team members, including Rajiv Poddar (2nd from left) and Lucia Salmaso (2nd from right)

In India, the lighting of a lamp symbolises new beginnings. For BKT, this tradition was a fitting gesture for observing a significant step in what it calls the ‘Next Level’: The lighting ceremony marked the start of festivities to celebrate the inauguration of BKT’s rebuilt European headquarters on 5 April.

The headquarters remains in Seregno, on the northern outskirts of Milan. But as Rajiv Poddar, joint managing director of BKT, shared with guests, it has been “completely redesigned to meet new market challenges.” These challenges include a more vigorous emphasis on original equipment business within Europe.

OEM customers previously supplied by external providers will now be served by a new warehouse built at the Seregno site. Lucia Salmaso, chief executive officer of BKT Europe, observes that with the addition of its own warehousing, BKT Europe makes the transition from service division to operational unit.

“We are constantly striving to increase our presence and market share in Europe and, above all, to get closer to our European OEM customers,” she continues. “Our goal is to permanently strengthen the presence of the BKT brand with original equipment manufacturers, and we know how to achieve it. We have already opened many doors with our aftermarket references and continue forging ahead with new opportunities. Our new headquarters has a key role in this regard. We will now be much stronger than we ever have been in every area and every segment in Europe.”

BKT Space for customer training & events

Alongside the new warehouse capabilities, the rebuilt Seregno headquarters incorporates 500 square metres of office space for the 15-person BKT Europe headquarters team as well the ‘BKT Space’, a facility where BKT’s European distributors can invite their customers or dealers to participate in tailored training sessions or events. Arvind Poddar, the company’s chairman and managing director, calls BKT Space a place “where traditional values and advanced technology merge into one dimension”: The centre is equipped to host up to 50 people and is divided into themed rooms where visitors can discover and experience BKT’s history, philosophy, values, products, challenges and its future aims.

BKT says the completion of its new European headquarters represents the latest step towards the ‘Next Level’, its strategy to enhance the presence of the BKT brand and the company’s off-highway tyre range in Europe.

“We are at a watershed moment,” says Rajiv Poddar. “Here we can embrace market challenges and launch them all in turn. Our very first aim is to understand the priorities and needs of our customers. We will be able to do it best at this new space, a totally innovative and technological work environment that we will use to demonstrate that we are capable of measuring up and even more. We will prove that we are ready to reach the Next Level.”

Sales in Europe accounted for half of BKT’s more than US$900 million turnover in the 2017-18 financial year.

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