Global Rubber Industries (Pvt.) Ltd. (GRI) has spent the last 18 years since its foundation cultivating its niche in the industrial, agricultural and construction tyre sectors. With ambitious capacity and expansion plans underway, Tyres & Accessories interviewed managing director Prabhash Subasinghe and learnt more about the company’s plans to build on its growth foundations.
This interview appears in full in the November edition of Tyres & Accessories magazine. Not yet a subscriber? You can change that here.
Specialty tyre manufacturer GRI is adding a new mixing facility in the Mirigama Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) in Sri Lanka. The new mixing facility will have capacity to produce 200 tonnes day, up from the current capacity of 50 – 60 metric tonnes a day, and is being interpreted as a pre-cursor to increased tyre output.
GRI recently hosted politicians from Sri Lanka’s Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation. Specifically, national dignitary Basil Rajapaksa made a visit to GRI’s new factory, which purportedly one of the largest specialty tyre plants in Sri Lanka and the first to produce radial agriculture tyres in the country.
GRI has upgraded its website (www.gritires.com). Now, according to the company, it features “streamlined navigation and recognizes the farmers, construction workers and forklift operators who move the world.”
GRI has developed what is purportedly Sri Lanka and the company’s first winter off-the-road (OTR) tyre for the Japanese market. Designed in collaboration with its Japanese partner, the Gripex Snow tyre is designed to withstand the winter weather and distinct terrain of Hokkaido prefecture in northern Japan. The new tyre is fitted on vehicles used in sub-zero temperatures in order to offer “optimal traction and higher stability on snow”.
Global demand for natural rubber is outpacing supply, so stakeholders in the global tyre industry need to ensure sustainability is a guiding ethos in its operations, GRI states. The Sri Lankan manufacturer says sustainability in sourcing, production and disposal are key to its goals.
The president of Sri Lanka His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed Prabhash Subasinghe, managing director of GRI, to the Presidential Task Force for Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation. The task force exists because Sri Lanka’s government has identified the need to create balanced social and economic development in the country, aligned with expectations by the United Nations such as environmental conservation, renewable energy and toxin-free food production, as well as the need to minimize poverty.
Agility and rapid responsiveness are important for GRI, and the company believes these qualities set it apart within the specialty tyre manufacturing industry. It shares that the firm has “been ahead of other companies in the industry” facing the current COVID-19 situation thanks to the very proactive and far-sighted actions of its senior management.
GRI has introduced a new tyre for heavy-duty loader applications, the Gripex LT122. The Sri Lankan tyre maker says the LT22 features a sturdy and robust nylon casing that provides extraordinary impact and shock resistance for extended tyre life. It adds that the tyre’s tread compound ensures resistance against wear and cuts, whilst the tread design enables higher traction for better productivity.
Sri Lanka-based speciality tyre manufacturer GRI reports that it has acquired the Estonia-based Nortire Group. Headquartered in Estonia, with a branch in Latvia and two branches in Lithuania, Nortire is a speciality tyre distributor. According to GRI, the acquisition will further expand the GRI’s global tyre service network, while attaining a significant foothold in the North European tyre market. The news follows a non-acquisition Middle East strategic partnership with Al-Dobowi in April 2019.
Sri Lanka-based manufacturer GRI Tires has laid the foundation for a new mixing plant. The facility, located some 25 miles from Colombo in the Mirigama Export Processing Zone (MEPZ), will initially give GRI the capacity to increase specialty tyre output by 100 tons a day. A further project phase will double capacity.