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MRF Tyres Story of Madras Rubber Factory a.k.a MRF

MRF Tyres Story of Madras Rubber Factory a.k.a MRF

MRF Tyres Story of Madras Rubber Factory a.k.a MRF

To start with; unlike many other developing countries, the only cause at the back of the purpose why India were fortunate sufficient to not have been ruled by means of overseas companies within the strategically critical industries like metallic, cement, heavy engineering, shipping and automobile tyres, turned into due to the fact some Indian industrialists had taken the ache of doing it themselves within the pre and put up-Independence intervals. These had been the years when they had no protection from foreign organizations.

One such pioneer turned into K M Mammen Mapillai!

MRF is at the start the child or have to we are saying the brainchild of the overdue K. M. Mammen Mappillai.

He changed into born in a Syrian Christian own family in Kerala, and become raised alongside together with his eight elder brothers and one sister. Later, he additionally graduated from the then prestigious Madras Christian College.

KM had additionally obtained the highest civilian award – the ‘Padma Shri’ in 1992 for his contribution to industry.

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Moving on to his prodigy; Madras Rubber Factory quick for MRF, with HQ’s in Chennai is the biggest producer of tyres in India. The company extensively produces a number of rubber products a number of which also include tyres, tubes, treads, and so forth along side conveyor belts, paints and toys.

Most of their manufacturing is conducted at both in their gadgets positioned in Kerala, Puducherry, Goa, Arakonam, Chennai , Tamil Nadu, Telengana, and many others. With more than sixteen,000 (2011) employees, the business enterprise makes manner more than a whooping Rs. 13,000 crores (2012) in sales.

Talking approximately their product range: -

  • Tyres: – The Company may be very widely known for its tyre manufacturing across the u . S . For almost any type of automobile which includes diverse tyres including passenger cars,  wheelers, vehicles, buses, and so forth.
  • Some of their product range consists of MRF Nylogrip, MRF ZVTs, MRF Wanderers, MRF Meteor, MRF Steel Muscle, and so forth.
  • Conveyor Belting – Again, the corporation is similarly well-known but throughout the B2B market for their manufacturing of ‘Muscleflex’ conveyor belts.
  • Retreading and Pretreading – Retreading is the hot system thru which a simple rubber is pasted at the tyre and is stored in a steamed tyre sample to shape thread shape at the tyre rubber. And Pretreading is the cold technique wherein a equipped tread layout rubber is pasted on the worn tyre and pasted through steam pressure to shape a tyre sample on the tyre rubber. MRF has the maximum superior pre-cured and retreading gadget in India.
  • Paints – The Company also manufactures polyurethane paint formulations and coats which might be used in automotive, ornamental and business programs.
  • Funskool: - Established in 1989, Funskool India is a collaboration of MRF and Hasbro toys, USA to fabricate and markets toys, board video games, and so forth and plenty of other games. The agency holds production licenses to make toys and video games for Disney, Warner Brothers, Dora, IIT Bombay, and so forth. They additionally is likewise India’s manufacturing and advertising accomplice for more than a few globally renowned toy manufacturers including Hasbro, Lego, Tomy Toys, Leap Frog, Jumbo, etc.

The Story…

Their tale dates returned to the time while KM was in college, in the course of the colonial times!

How Did K. M. Mammen Mappillai Enter Into Entrepreneurship?

His father used to personal a financial institution and newspaper. The princely country of Travancore sent his father behind the bars for two years and also seized all their family’s assets after shutting down their financial institution and newspaper. The circle of relatives changed into left with not anything.

So KM started to sleep at the floors of St. Thomas’s Hall in university, for the reason that day his father got arrested.

After the final touch of his graduation, KM alongside with his spouse Kunjamma, who changed into a chemist, had opened a small toy balloon production unit in a shed and used to make toy balloons. He used to percent them in a bag, go to the streets and sell them himself.

What made him a success with this small begin was his finest skill of the capability to attraction the clients.

After doing the identical for a long term, KM determined to take the bounce ahead!

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One of his cousins had a series of tyre retreading plants for which the tread rubber was provided via foreign tyre organizations. He desired to do what Jamshedji Tata did within the discipline of steel and accommodations!

So in an try and capitalize in this marketplace, he decided to enter the manufacturing international of tread rubber. And very quickly for the reason that his access, this ‘tread rubber’ that he manufactured, that could enlarge the lifestyles of a used tyre, was a success!

MRF soon have become the only Indian-owned unit which synthetic this type of tread-rubber, which placed them in opposition with the Multinationals which have been working in India and because of their gigantic superiority of excessive first-rate standards, MRF had emerge as the market leader with a 50% share of that market.

So effective was MRF’s hold in the marketplace, that the huge MNC’s had been left helpless with no option however to withdraw from that commercial enterprise.

After a regular and easy increase in for some time, KM once more decided to amplify. This time it changed into tyre manufacturing.

Now the ones have been the times whilst the Indian car tyre industry used to be closely dominated by way of the overseas trio of Dunlop, Firestone and Goodyear.

After the initiation of the Tariff Commission enquiry into the tyre enterprise, the government figured that simply how deeply these overseas corporations were dominating the industry. The complete recreation become exclusively in their hands!

It also opened their eyes that, for the reason that no army can not pass with out tyres for its transport. So in case of a conflict or an emergency, those agencies could easily gang up and hold the united states to ransom.

Hence, to counter this case, the government aggressively started out inviting and encouraging Indian agencies in the rubber enterprise.

Thus giving access to MRF!

What Were The Initial Challenges Faced By MRF?

Now out of the numerous, there have been four essential ones who had been shortlisted – MRF, Premier, Incheck and National.

Now being a completely calculative and sensible businessman, he thoroughly knew that moving into this arena could invite quite a few risks. Given the fact that, this changed into a capital and technology willing enterprise, with 3 massive multinational giants, the chance turned into even deeper that it seemed.

Nevertheless, he decided to take the leap in conjunction with the 3 different Indian businesses. But not like the rest, he determined to play it safe, and formed a collaboration with a small US tyre business enterprise referred to as Mansfield Tire & Rubber, Ohio.

His tyre manufacturing unit became inaugurated via the then Prime Minister – Pandit Nehru in 1961. In the same year itself, the corporation additionally released an IPO and hit the stock markets as nicely!

But within a 12 months KM noticed his anticipation coming to lifestyles!

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The US-based totally tyre enterprise that he had collaborated with, their generation was no longer proper for the Indian street conditions or for that count the overload economics of the truck enterprise in India. The product defects commenced to pile up and to worsen the state of affairs greater, these overseas agencies additionally started out spreading the word that Indian organizations can't make tyres.

Not to overlook; throughout nowadays, even after 18 years of independence, authorities orders used to be positioned exclusively on Dunlop, and the Indian groups had been at their mercy.

To add to their mess, the trio who blatantly ran a pricing alliance had made survival a hell for these newly born Indian groups. The club of these 3 overseas groups used to determine what share became to be furnished with the aid of each business enterprise, and what which include fragments to be thrown on the Indians.

It was so worse that, as soon as throughout an enterprise meet while KM mentioned that MRF was entitled to a rather larger proportion of these authorities orders; he turned into informed that they were simplest entitled to what Dunlop determined!

After reaching the height of frustration, MRF eventually determined to soak up the difficulty to the government authorities.

Looking on the severity of the matter, the government right now modified their coverage straight away and started to area orders at once on each producer in a much less random manner. Thus giving MRF a fair threat to compete!

What Were Some Of The Marketing Strategies Implemented?

Since they had been given a level playing discipline, MRF also decided to extend their market percentage and started making an investment in logo marketing. They wanted to introduce a emblem photo to the corporation which had could have a much broader appeal.

Now what many didn’t realize changed into that KM was a born artist and a marketer! He used this to his gain, approached many advertising corporations. This mission became eventually given to Alyque Padamsee.

For all individuals who aren’t conscious, Alyque is known to be the daddy of Indian marketing. He decided to take purchaser’s opinion on a tyre and met some truck-drivers, and understood that according to them tyres must be sturdy and should mirror power. Thus the MRF Muscle Man was born in 1964. The ‘Muscleman’ personified the photo of the strength of the tyres synthetic by using MRF.

This Muscleman became then used on TV advertisements throughout the eighty’s together with signature music, which speedy went directly to emerge as an image that everybody should relate to.

MRF’s going in opposition to the trend or even after being into the B2B (Business 2 Business) market has long past directly to create superiority using its progressive techniques to grow to be a household name.

Other than these, the enterprise has used diverse specific and out-of-the-box patterns and techniques to marketplace itself. Some of those consist of starting of foundations or sponsorships like: -

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  • Motorsports: – The Company has additionally highly invested into a wide range of Motorsports internationally. Some of which consist of: -
  • MRF Racing: – MRF is one of the very few businesses from India to have a Formula 3 car. MRF has also backed many Indian racing drivers which encompass Narain Karthikeyan, Karun Chandok, Ashwin Sundar, N. Leelakrishnan and Raj Bharath. The Company additionally organises pretty a few racing events across the u . S . And global, which consist of: -
  • Formula Maruti racing: – A single-seater, open wheel class racing event for race automobiles made in India. It is a collaboration among Maruti and MRF.
  • MRF Challenge: – A Formula 2000 open-wheel motorsport components based series racing occasion. It is prepared by way of Madras Motor Sports Club in association with MRF.
  • MRF Rally Team: – It is a rally group that participates in Asia-Pacific Rally Championship and Indian National Rally Championship. MRF is an age-antique sponsor of this team.
  • MRF Motocross: – The Company is the principle promoter of the National Motocross Championship. It is an all-terrain two wheeler racing that takes area each yr however simplest on enclosed off-road circuits across numerous towns.
  • MRF Karting: – MRF is the first Indian tyre company that develops FIA approved karting tyres that also promotes and sponsors essential karting championships throughout the u . S ..
  • Cricket: – Cricket remains some other recreation that the organisation has seeing that a totally long time, heavily invested in. These consist of in various bureaucracy like: -
  • MRF Pace Foundation: – It is a education health facility based totally in Chennai that became began in 1987 to educate rapid bowlers in a unique facility. It turned into setup with the assist of former Australian rapid bowler Dennis Lillee. Through this software, young aspiring rapid bowlers are educated in a unique facility. Some in their college students include: Sachin Tendulkar, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Sreesanth, along side overseas gamers like Chaminda Vaas, Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, etc have also trained at the muse.

This remains a completely widely recognized truth that, MRF has remained a cricket bat sponsor of well-known batsmen like Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Steve Waugh, Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir, and many others.

They had also subsidized floating moored balloons at IPL 2010, which had HD cameras attached to it to file stay moves of the fit.

Lastly, recently the enterprise has also joined in as the worldwide companion of International Cricket Council (ICC) for 2015 Cricket World Cup.

What Were Some Of The Business Strategies Used?

He changed into one man who exactly knew how to convert competitors into friends and had a appeal that made him gain all this without developing enemies. Be it through tales or through magic hints, he always controlled to leave each person awestruck.

Not handiest did he manage to wither away Dunlop and Firestone, the hurdles of his early days, but additionally efficaciously defeated even larger overseas brands like Michelin which is the most important tyre organization in the international, correctly.

How become that feasible?

Well, he thoroughly knew that an outstanding distribution reach throughout the country inside the form of dealers could be of extreme significance for a firm status. Hence, he additionally began various promotional schemes and along with his charm, he built a sturdy and loyal supplier network.

This additionally blanketed travelling to every nook-and-corner of the country, be it the remotest elements of Punjab and Assam, he travelled and brought home dealers, most effective to convert MRF into a desired logo.

He made sure that, the high-quality of his tyres become such that they need to fit the Indian avenue conditions flawlessly, to make them an easy first choice whilst it got here to changing tyres on an current automobile. Using these simplifications, the agency successfully controlled to establish its great standards and advertising and distribution network.

What came as an addition and caused nationwide expansion turned into that, since the organization changed into being offered tax concessions with the aid of the country governments; he determined to take an advantage of these, and as a consequence also set up a couple of gadgets.

Soon MRF began the export of tyres and have become the first Indian corporation to export tyres to the USA, which again became extraordinarily commendable, considering that US is the birthplace of tyres in standard. In the identical 12 months, in addition they have become the first ones to introduce nylon tyre in the Indian market.

Other than that, the entered into various Partnerships, Joint Ventures, collaborations and tie-united states of americawith a listing of agencies from across the world to justify the places wherein MRF has lacked.

Using those and plenty of such strategies, these days MRF has became out to come to be the number one tyre corporation in India.

What has also made MRF stand out in the crowd has been its technical capabilities, and is also regarded to be among the worldwide elite with regards to possessing their very own generation.

The employer presently holds a big market proportion of more than 24% in India and with round 12% percentage of the world market, MRF exports to over sixty five nations.

They have grown directly to turn out to be the 15th largest tyre corporation within the international. More lately, the employer has additionally signed a five-year agreement with the BCCI and has additionally introduced an association as Global Partner for ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

Over the period of time, MRF has also ventured out into different agencies as properly which include – Conveyor Belting and Paints.


Listed on the Forbes India’s ‘Super 50 listing’ of the exceptional businesses in India (2015)

  • Ranked 48th among India’s maximum depended on brands in keeping with the Brand Trust Report (2014)
  • Won the ‘JD Power Award’ (2013)

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  • Received the All India Rubber Industries Association’s (AIRIA) award for ‘Highest Export Awards (Auto Tyre Sector)’
  • Received the ‘Top Export Award’ from Chemicals & Allied Products Export Promotion Council (CAPEXIL)


04 Mar, 2023




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