Know A Rubber & Tyre Leader - Mohamed - Apollo Tyres

 

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P.K. Mohamed is a soft-spoken and an accomplished tyre technologist with more than 49 years' of experience in the field of Tyre Technology and Manufacturing.

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Tyre Technology Is An Amalgamation Of Science And Engineering. INTERVIEW WITH P.K.MOHAMED Chief Adviser - Research & Technology Member of Management Board Apollo Tyres Ltd.

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| Interviewer’s Note | “A leader is someone who demonstrates, what’s possible” - Mark Yarnell P.K. Mohamed is a soft-spoken and an accomplished tyre technologist. I consider it a privilege to know him and present his leadership wisdom to you in this special edition. The above quote aptly summarizes Mohamed. You will agree with me when you read this passionate interview of his journey from a college lecturer to a well-known tyre technologist. There are struggles, challenges, achievements, lessons on loyalty and continuous education for us to imbibe in his more than 49 years' of experience in the field of Tyre Technology and Manufacturing. Mohamed’s exceptional knowledge, clarity, relevance and insight on the various aspects is awe-inspiring. I have said earlier that true leaders are few and when we find one, we look towards them as mentor and guide. Mohamed is a Fellow Member of the Rubber and Plastic Institute London, Member in the Management Board of Apollo Tyres Ltd, Industrial Advisory board of Centre for Tyre Research, USA, IRCO and Area Director of American Chemical Society Rubber Division. Mohamed is also the Chairman of Indian Tyre Technical Advisory Committee (ITTAC), Technology Environment Safety and Standard (TESS) group of ATMA and past chairman of IRI. He has several international publications to his credit. As always, I welcome your feedback on rubbermachineryworld@gmail.com. Best Regards Prasanth Warrier There are struggles, challenges, success lessons on loyalty and continuous education for us to imbibe in his more than 49 years of experience. 3 rubbermachineri rubbermachineryworld +Rubbermachineryworld1 grp/home?gid=8252803 rubbermachineri Know A Leader - Rubber & Tyre Machinery World | JAN 2016 (Disclaimer: All the pictures and statements in this special supplement are sourced from web or shared by respective companies. All copyrights belong to actual owner. Rubber Machinery World does not independently verify them nor will vouch for their genuineness, hence will not be liable for any misrepresented data. The images are used for representation purpose only.)

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| LEADER - INTERVIEW | 4 “Most of my learning in rubber technology and compounding has happened during my career.” Know A Leader - Rubber & Tyre Machinery World | JAN 2016 (Image Source: Apollo Tyres Website.)

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| LEADER - INTERVIEW | Tyre Technology is an Amalgamation of Science and Engineering Interview With P.K.Mohamed, Chief Adviser - Research & Technology. Member of Management Board, Apollo Tyres PRASANTH WARRIER (PW): Hello Mohamed. First of all thank you for accepting an interview with Rubber Machinery World (RMW) and sharing your thoughts. From a Junior Lecturer at Calicut Farook College (Kerala) to being recognized as ‘Best Tyre Technologist’ and a Member of Management Board of Apollo Tyres is a remarkable journey. So let me start with a personal question - What would you say was key to your success and how you reached the very top spot? What are the take away for the next generation of leaders in your inspiring story? P.K. MOHAMED (PKM): It is a fact that I started my career as a Junior Lecturer in the year 1965 immediately after passing out from college with Chemistry major. But it was not long before I realized that the challenges in the position as a junior lecturer was inadequate to meet my desires. And my mind was prompting me to look for a job in the industry to meet my aspirations and challenges. So I tried for a job in rubber and fertilizer industries and was fortunate to receive positive responses from both. My decision was to join rubber industry for the more lucrative remuneration then offered by the industry. I joined as a Supervisor in the Quality Department in Premier Tyres under J.D. Kamath. Kamath was a good teacher and guide. At that time the technical department was headed by G.K.Pillai, a well known Tyre Technologist trained in the USA under the collaboration agreement with General Tyre. The compounding department was headed by Dr. A.S. Nair, a doctorate holder from IIT Kharagpur and a well known person in the field of rubber compounding and material science. I was fortunate to be a protégé of these eminent personalities. They provided me with excellent training that enabled me to perform better and better in future. It is worth to mention that when I joined the Rubber Industry, my knowledge about Rubber technology and rubber compounding was very limited. During my academic time, I only learnt that there was a molecule called ‘isoprene’ which was the monomer of natural rubber. Most of my learning in rubber technology and compounding has happened during my 5 Know A Leader - Rubber & Tyre Machinery World | JAN 2016

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| LEADER - INTERVIEW | career. This reinforced my belief in the benefits of continuing education in the fieldof one’s interest, through reading, interaction, active participation in the technical discussion, experimentation of one’s ideas and analysis of their outcome. Linking these observations with the theories, is an important element of learning which is essential for one’s professional growth. It is also important to acquire qualification in the respective professional field for better recognition. The successful stint in Premier saw me elevated to the position of the Manager Compounding & Laboratory Chemist. It was time in 1976, when Apollo Tyres was looking for a rubber technologist with a qualification of LPRI (London) and with compounding background to be trained under their collaborator, General Tire International Company (GTIC) in the USA. A change seemed just right for me at that stage to further my career growth and also to support the financial needs of my family which was particularly more felt after my marriage. I applied for the position on offer and got selected. People around me and well wishers like Dr. A.S.Nair, G.K.Pillai, M.Jayashankar, I.Venugopal, and Dr. John Jacob congratulated me because then Apollo Tyres was considered to be a rising star in the industry circles. And more for the fact that it was managed by the dynamic entrepreneur, Raunaq Singh. “The products offered by our collaborator were not meeting the customer and market requirements and hence tyres started failing miserably.” I joined Apollo with a lot of hope and went to General Tires for extensive training in the areas of rubber compounding, fabric dipping, calendaring, and heat engineering. I returned to India and started working under William Stebins, a General Tyre Compounding Specialist. The Technology was then headed by Ceaser Pereira. Even though every individual department put in their best efforts, heart and soul for the growth of the company, the products offered by our collaborator were not meeting the customer and market requirements. Hence tyres started failing miserably. Apollo reached a situation where in all the raw material suppliers refused to make anymore supply of their products, collaborator refused to provide further technology and dealers stopped lifting our tyres. During that time Raunaq Singh installed a new management team under the leadership of Onkar Singh Kanwar, the present Chairman and Managing Director. When he took over the company, there was no credible management team and whoever was available, was having a very low morale. Know A Leader - Rubber & Tyre Machinery World | JAN 2016 6

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| LEADER - INTERVIEW | Quality reputation was extremely poor, financial and labour situation were miserable. But he managed the situation with his management skill, positive attitude, optimistic and aggressive approach. During that time the technical department was totally vacant and there was no chance for an external person with good background joining the company. So they identified me to steer the technical department by promoting me as a Senior manager. It was then D.V. Kohli and Kanwar gave the assignment for the development of a tyre for over-load market and get the share of this market from the Modi N-416, (then market leader in that segment with 60 per cent market share). This was an herculean task to achieve with the available expertise and man power. Despite that, I along with R.N. Krishnan, Sondh, T.R. Gopalakrishnan, Tom Thomas and Cyriac Mattam, decided to put our heart and soul; determined to achieve the goal set by our beloved chairman. We identified the weaknesses of N-416 tyres and developed a tyre with the new design concept, carcass platform, process and material technology. The project was a great success. Our company’s sales of this particular brand of tyres moved from 3,000 tyres to over 400,000 tyres per annum. 10 “These developments changed the overall reputation and financial status of Apollo.” This success encouraged the whole team and boosted their morale multi-fold. The increased vigour further paved the way for the development of XT-7, Amar and passenger radial tyre technology using available equipment and market a brand of tyres called Polyglass. These developments changed the overall reputation and financial status of Apollo, which lead to the expansion of company’s Perambra plant capacity from 56 MT to 106 MT per day. As the demand for our tyres further increased, the management decided to set up a plant in Gujarat with a capacity of 76 MT and the same got expanded to 350 MT with in a short time. Know A Leader - Rubber & Tyre Machinery World | JAN 2016

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| LEADER - INTERVIEW | “Our company continued to grow from strength to strength and prospered.” Our company continued to grow from strength to strength and prospered under the leadership of Onkar Kanwar and Neeraj Kanwar. New technology products like PCR, TBR, OTR and Agricultural products were introduced successfully, which helped to expand the company from 56 MT to reach a capacity of 1600 MT day in the year 2014. Apollo Tyres also acquired plants in thr Netherlands, South Africa and India (Premier Tyres). During this journey of growth, the technology department, under my leadership developed products, processes, systems etc., to maintain the market leadership. This was recognized by the management and suitable rewards were Apollo Tyres Display at IMME2014 given to all people who have worked in the technology department including myself. I consider myself as one of the luckiest person in the company because I always received full support from Onkar Kanwar and Neeraj Kanwar. And they played a vital role in developing me as one of the wellrecognized technologists in the field of tyre technology. I am greatly indebted to them. My journey in Apollo Tyres was fascinating one, full of challenges which I cherished throughout my career in the company. I taught myself, several new lessons in the company and wish to share a few of them with the readers: 1. I am a strong believer of Abraham Lincoln’s words "failure is not a dead end Know A Leader - Rubber & Tyre Machinery World | JAN 2016 11 (Image Source: Autocarpro.in)

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| LEADER - INTERVIEW | 12 (Image Source: Web) Onkar S. Kanwar Chairman & Managing Director Neeraj Kanwar Vice-Chairman & Managing Director “I always received full support from Onkar Kanwar and Neeraj Kanwar. And they played a vital role in developing me as one of the wellrecognized tyre technologists. I am greatly indebted to them.” P.K. Mohamed Know A Leader - Rubber & Tyre Machinery World | JAN 2016

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