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Metro Tyres hits the big league

Nishi Rath     September 5, 2011
From humble beginnings, when it started as a small cycle-tyre manufacturing company with an insignificant investment, Metro Tyres has grown to become a Rs 500-crore company now.

Metro Tyres is a prominent player in the two-wheeler tyres segment and is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 per cent per annum, said Rummy Chhabra, the 54-year-old managing director (MD) of Metro Group.

"Metro Tyres Ltd was started by my father Man Singh in 1968. After graduating from Punjab University, I joined the family business. When I joined, the turnover of the company was Rs 4 crore," Chhabra said.

The Metro Group also claims to be the only two-wheeler tyre company in India that has an exclusive technology tie-up with the world's fourth-largest tyre company-Germany- based Continental AG - for the manufacturing and marketing of two-wheeler tyres under the Continental brand.

"Learning is a continuous process and never ends. The tie-up with multinational tyre giant Continental AG was the biggest break of my life. It boosted my confidence to a great level," said Chhabra.

"We have decided to expand our existing manufacturing facilities in Ludhiana with an investment of Rs 50 crore. As a result of the good response and demand in the replacement market, the company has decided to increase three-fold its production of Continental tyres made by Metro from the present capacity of 50,000 pieces to 1.5 lakh pieces per month," said Chhabra.

The Metro Group has 70 branches spread across the country. It has appointed a large number of new dealers to sell tyres in the retail market.

It aims to put in place a network of more than 2,000 dealers across the country.

Besides leading Metro Tyres through these years, Chhabra also ventured into the appliances business in 1990, when he laid the foundation for Metro Appliances, which is now known as Metro Ortem Ltd. This company manufactures and markets the Ortem range of fans.

"From humble beginnings, we have made steady progress to establish ourselves as a market leader in motorcycle and bicycle tyres and tubes in India. We are targeting a turnover of Rs 600 crore," said Chhabra.

In the past 25 years, the second generation entrepreneur has held various positions and worked at different levels in the Metro Group.

"While spreading the network of our company to every nook and corner of the country, I have learnt the nuances of marketing at the grassroots level. Interacting with consumers in semi- urban and rural areas is always a valuable learning experience, which I feel is my biggest asset," he said.

Rolling out Ortem fans has been a different learning experience for Chhabra, he said, especially realising the importance of technology, innovation and the marketing strategies that are needed to create a brand in the highly-competitive consumer durables market in the country.

Courtesy: Mail Today 

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