Dubai-based Zafco launches India operations

K. V. Gopiraj, Chief Executive Officer, Zafco   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL

Zafco, a leading global player in automotive tyres, batteries and lubricants, announced on Tuesday the launch of its India operations.

The operations will see the establishment of 84 trucking centres across Northern and Western India that will meet the demands of the industrial and commercial sectors.

The launch will also provide a foundation for Zafco to eventually enter into the premium segment of the tyre market, according to K. V. Gopiraj, Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai-headquartered company.

In an interaction with this correspondent at the Chennai Trade Centre, Mr. Gopiraj said the tyre industry in India had immense potential for growth with several multinational companies in the automotive segment setting up production facilities and a significant growth in vehicle population. He was here to exhibit Double Coin, a globally renowned tyre brand for the transport sector and Zeetex, the company's own revolutionary brand of tyres, besides batteries and lubricants.

Mr. Gopiraj said the three-day exhibition was the ideal platform for Zafco to introduce its diverse range of automotive products in the Indian market and take advantage of the country's booming economy complemented with the commendable infrastructure plans to connect all of India's corridors through the road network.

He said the company would continue to maintain the high quality standards and replicate the success achieved globally in the Indian market.

The company's focus would be only on the replacement market as 70 per cent of demand was from this segment with only 25-30 per cent from the OEM market, Mr. Gopiraj said. Its portfolio of global brands included Pirelli, Roadstone, Nexen, Otani, Nitto, Siam Tyre, Double Coin, Hankook, MRF and Zeetex, he said.

He said the company was looking to establish a manufacturing plant either in Thailand or in Indonesia by buying out the facilities of existing manufacturer. Natural rubber was available in plenty in these countries, he said. The investment would be around $175-200 million, he said. It would be producing mainly passenger car tyres with an initial capacity of six million units. This would be scaled up to 12 million units subsequently.

Joint venture

Zafco already has a joint venture in Thailand for truck tyres which started commercial production in November last year.

The capacity was three million truck tyres. There were also plans to invest in rubber plantations, Mr. Gopiraj said.

With close to 300 employees across the globe and sales in more than 85 countries, Zafco was one of the fastest growing companies in the UAE. The company currently has an extensive distribution network of over 850 partners worldwide.

The aim was to reach a turnover of $1 billion by 2013 from $400 million at present, Mr. Gopiraj said.

Founded in Dubai in 1993, Zafco is one of the world's leading importers and exporters of car tyres, batteries and lubricants.

The company is located in the Jebel Ali Free Zone and its UAE storage facilities, which cover 43,100 sq. m., can accommodate up to one million tyres. Zafco has recorded an average growth of over 30 per cent each year since its inception.

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 12:54:28 AM |

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