Friday, March 07, 2008

mrf tyres

  • 1946
    A young entrepreneur, K. M. Mammen Mappillai, opened a small toy balloon manufacturing unit in a shed at Tiruvottiyur, Madras (now Chennai).
    Although the "factory" was just a small shed without any machines, a variety of products, ranging from balloons and latex-cast squeaking toys to industrial gloves and contraceptives, were produced. During this time, MRF established its first office at 334, Thambu Chetty Street, Madras (now Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India.


    MRF ventured into the manufacture of tread rubber. And with that, the first machine, a rubber mill, was installed at the factory. This step into tread-rubber manufacture, was later to catapult MRF into a league that few had imagined possible.


    MRF soon became the only Indian-owned unit to manufacture the superior extruded, non-blooming and cushion-backed tread-rubber, enabling it to compete with the MNC's operating in India at that time.


    The quality of the product manufactured was of such a high standard that by the close of 1956, MRF had become the market leader with a 50% share of the tread-rubber market in India. So effective was MRF's hold on the market, that the large multinationals had no other option but to gradually withdraw from the tread rubber business in India.


    With the success achieved in tread rubber, MRF entered into the manufacture of tyres. MRF established a technical collaboration with the Mansfield Tire & Rubber Company of USA. Around the same time, it also became a public company. It set up a pilot plant for tyre manufacture at Tiruvottiyur, Madras (now Chennai).


    On June 12, 1963, India's first Prime Minister, Late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation stone for the Rubber Research Centre at Tiruvottiyur to commemorate the inauguration of the Tiruvottiyur factory.


    With the commissioning of the main plant in 1964, MRF also made progress in the export of tyres. An overseas office at Beirut (Lebanon) was established to develop the export market, and it was amongst India's very first efforts on tyre exports. This year also marked the birth of the now famous MRF Muscleman.


    MRF became the first Indian company to export tyres to USA - the very birthplace of tyre technology.


    MRF scored a major breakthrough by being among the very first in India to manufacture and market Nylon tyres passenger tyres commercially.


    MRF developed the MRF Superlug-78, a sturdy tyre for heavy-duty trucks. The tyre was a significant improvement over its existing products, and went on to become the country's largest selling truck tyre in later years.


    MRF's turnover crossed INR one billion.


    * MRF entered into a technical collaboration with the B.F. Goodrich Tyre Company of USA, which was involved with the development of tyres for the NASA space-shuttle. With this began a significant exercise in quality improvement and new product development.
    * MRF took a major policy decision to be aggressive on the racing circuits.


    MRF began a rapid product development programme for new vehicles entering India.


    Sales crossed INR two billion. MRF tyres were the first tyres selected for fitment onto the Maruti Suzuki 800 - India's first small, modern car.


    MRF Nylogrip tyres for two-wheeler vehicles were launched.


    MRF was selected by the National Institution of Quality Assurance for their most prestigious award. Pitted against 20 tyre companies worldwide, MRF also won 6 Quality Improvement Awards instituted by the B.F. Goodrich Tyre Company from USA.


    MRF crossed the INR three billion mark and also became the No. 1 tyre company in India. MRF Legend, the premium nylon car tyre was introduced.


    The MRF Pace Foundation was set up, with international pace bowler, Dennis Lillee as its Director. Not long thereafter, pace bowlers trained at the Foundation were selected for the Indian Cricket Team.


    By 1989, MRF was the clear market leader in every tyre segment. Once again, in recognition of excellence, MRF was awarded the Visvesvaraya Award for the Best Business House in South India and the Economic Times Harvard Business School Award for the Best Corporate Performance. MRF collaborated with Hasbro International USA, the world's largest toy makers, and launched Funskool India. The company also entered into collaborations with Vapocure, Australia to manufacture polyurethane paint formulations and with Pirelli for MUSCLEFLEX Conveyor & Elevator Belting.


    MRF launched the MRF ZIGMA CC Radial synchronising with the MRF World Series Cricket Tournament for the Jawaharlal Nehru Trophy sposered by the company. The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Dr. M. Karunanidhi, awarded MRF the Special Export Award. MRF also opened the MRF Tyredrome, India's first tyre company-owned wheel care complex at Madras (now Chennai).


    MRF brought the 6th World Cup Boxing Championship to Mumbai - the first of its kind - with 39 countries participating. The event was telecast live on TV networks worldwide.


    K. M. Mammen Mappillai was awarded the Padmashri Award of National Recognition for his contribution to industry - the only industrialist from South India to be accorded this honour until that time. MRF also became the first tyre company in India to cross the INR 10 billion mark. In addition, the company was voted by the Far Eastern Economic Review, as one of the ten leading Corporate Groups in India and a Leader in Asia.

    MRF was selected as one of India's most admired Marketing Companies by the readers of the
    A & M magazine.


    The company's turnover crossed INR 15 billion. MRF was chosen for fitment on the Daewoo Cielo. This year too MRF was voted by the Far Eastern Economic Review as one of the 10 leading Indian Companies.

    In the Golden Jubilee year, MRF's turnover crossed the INR 20 billion milestone. A special factory dedicated entirely to the manufacture of radials was started at Pondicherry. MRF Tyres were also chosen for fitment on the Ford Escort, Opel Astra and Fiat Uno. Further proof of its superior quality.
  • 199
  • MRF was declared the most ethical company by "Business World" magazine in its survey.


    MRF launched the Smile campaign on Indian roads.


    MRF's turnover crossed INR 30 billion mark.

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