New Western Tyre Retreading, an Elgi franchisee based in the town of Anantnag in the North Indian state of Kashmir about 50 km from state capital Srinagar, is reporting an overall doubling of its business volumes since taking on an Elgi franchise eight years ago, despite having been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Elgi Improves New Western Tyre Retreading's Fortune
“We are retreading 3,500 – 4,000 casings annually depending on the demand, but currently the business is struggling due to Covid restrictions imposed in the state,” explained Imtiyaz Wani of New Western Tyre Retreading. “Once the Covid restrictions have been removed completely, we expect the markets to open as usual, supplies to normalise, and truckers to move more freely. Only then will tyre volumes pick up. As of now, however, it is too early to comment when the market conditions will revert to the pre-Covid phase,” he added.
The franchisee caters to the market covering the 60 km from Anantnag to Srinagar and up to the Banihal tunnel. “We have been an Elgi franchisee for the last eight years,” said Wani. “This is a hilly region, and Elgi patterns are working well here. We have never received any complaint from the customers,” he assured.
Even customers from far-off Jammu also drop their casing for retreading at the plant. “We are not collecting casings from transport companies. The fleet owners drop their casings with us during trips as there are lots of movement restrictions in the area,” he said.
Anantnag is the third largest city in Jammu & Kashmir State after Srinagar and Jammu, and has a strategic position lying on the main North-South Corridor Road. With the highest number of tourist destinations it is regarded as an economic hub within the Kashmir Valley.
The site operates on solitary 8 tyre autoclave and consumes about 50 tons of tread rubber annually. Anantnag has about 8 retreading plants producing 100-150 tyres each in a month. “Our business has almost doubled since joining the Elgi franchisee network, which indicates 100% growth in our business in last eight years,” said Wani. “Margins have also improved as this is the only plant in Anantnag that provides quality retreading. Fleet owners are assured of quality here, and some of them have remained with us for many years.”
Despite the challenging business scenario, Wani has plans for further expansion. “We have plans to set up another plant on industrial land near the new highway that crosses through Anantnag,” he said. “However, we are waiting for the establishment of the industrial area before taking any decision.”