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IN CONVERSATION WITH: RISHAV KHETAN, MAXXIS TYRES NEPAL

Any one passionate about automobiles knows the importance of investing in a good set of rubbers. You can never underestimate the importance of a good set of tyres, they are the only contact point between you and the road and one of the primary factors in providing a safe and comfortable ride/drive.

Thankfully, there are a number of distributors in Nepal that cater to the demands of customers who look for good quality tyres. Bhagwati International are the authorized distributors of Maxxis Tyres in Nepal, and we sat down for a chat with their Director Rishav Khetan.

AL: What is the present status of Maxxis tires in the Nepalese market?

RK: Maxxis has been in the Nepali market for over a decade now and we have received a great response owing to the excellent tyre performance and strong built of the tyres, which provides our customers with the best traction and tyre life. Initially we focused more on the light commercial and van segment, but in the past 3-4 years we have expanded our range a lot and are covering motorcycle tyres, passenger car radials, SUV, 4×4/offroad, van, light truck, truck bus radials.

AL: What are Maxxis’ strengths as compared to other manufacturers? How technologically advanced and globally competitive is Maxxis Tires?

RK: Our Main strength, I would say, is the product itself. Apart from that, Maxxis has extensive sponsorship programs which allows the brand to be represented by sportsmen and women and teams in top sports events around the globe, which helps to promote the company in a positive manner.

Maxxis has been working with its partners worldwide to deliver 100% Quality, 100% Service, and 100% Trust, which has been the company’s Motto. In order to do so the company invests heavily in its Research and Development efforts with 5 R&D centers around the world and a 850,000 sq. m. proving ground in Shanghai, which has a state of the art test track, 13 real-world surfaces and Intelligent watering system for precise wet testing.

AL: Which segment are you focusing more on?

RK: Our number 1 selling segment is still light commercial and van segment where Maxxis is the first preference of most customers. Our main focus has been towards promoting our 4X4 / off roading and Truck Bus Radial (TBR) range. In order to do so we have partnered with Yeti Offroad Club and Huwoma Thar Adventures. For the promotion of the TBR segment we have conducted interaction programs with many fleet owners and retailers to explain them the benefits of switching to radial tyres from nylon tyres and the strengths of Maxxis TBR range.

AL: What are the major challenges and opportunities faced by a multi-national brand? What are you doing to grow the brand?

RK: One of the major challenges about working with a multi-national brand is grey market imports from open markets like Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc. which poses a great threat for official dealers like us, because we invest a lot of time and money in promoting the product and creating a strong brand presence.

There are a lot of opportunities as well of working with multinational companies. A lot of their resources and know how is passed down to us, there is continuous support from parent companies to dealers whether it is marketing support or promotional offers. And because of the global presence it is easier for us to create trust amongst our customers.

We carry out a series of marketing campaigns to promote Maxxis in Nepal. Along with advertising in major auto magazines and televisions we also participate at the auto shows, take forward our branding efforts at points of sales, sponsor motorsport events and teams. We visit our dealers who are outside the valley on a regular basis to check their performance and to help them boost sales. We also provide seasonal sales offers for the customers.

AL: What objectives do you aim to achieve in this fiscal year? Also, please explain the company’s efforts to enhance its operations in the Nepalese market.

RK: Our main objective in this Fiscal year is to increase our market share in the Motorcycle tyre and Truck Bus radial segments as these are new segments for us as well. After securing a decent market share and acceptance from the Passenger Car segment we entered TBR and Motorcycle tyres market last year. It has been difficult for us to make a strong hold in this segment as it is mostly dominated by Indian tyres which are priced comparatively lower than our products. The main challenge for us is to convince customers to switch from the brand they are currently using. We are working hard to build this trust by offering sales offers, lifetime guarantee schemes and sponsorship programs in related field.

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