When Nitin Mantri joined the Alliance Tire Group (ATG) in 2017, he was new to the tyre industry. Nitin worked in the US at Cummins Inc. for almost 15 years before accepting the role of CEO at Alliance. He worked across multiple positions, which gave him exposure to how global companies function well.
“I was head of strategy first, then I ran one of their plants,” he reflects. “I also ran sales and marketing for one of their verticals. Finally, I was appointed General Manager for their global fuel system business.”
A seasoned professional, Nitin saw ATG as an opportunity to grow an entrepreneur-led business into a long-term, sustainable enterprise. “Our ambition is to become a one-billion-dollar company by 2020,” he states.
“We needed to make structural changes when I started here, and improvements to our plant processes. We want to raise the company to a world-class level. These are challenges we’re working to overcome.”
ATG was acquired by Japanese tyre manufacturer The Yokohama Rubber Company in July 2016. Yokohama, which was established more than 100 years ago, provides ATG with access to quality technology and years of impact on the market. “We have the best of both worlds,” Nitin says.
“We can run a nimble, entrepreneurial company with the backing of a major corporation. I respect Yokohama; they are not only highly successful, but they are also humble, which is what we aim to be.”
Since the acquisition, ATG has had to navigate how it fits into the Yokohama Group. Fortunately, it is a partner relationship, which has made it easy for ATG to maintain its systems and processes. “They are like the financial owner with an open-door policy, giving complete access to their technology and systems. It is a learning curve because Yokohama is a strong player in the industry.”
Nitin says the company is working to become a top player itself. “Our goal is to be a global market leader in the agriculture, forestry, construction and material-handling tyre segments,” he explains.
ATG’s Core Values
Progressive and pioneering technology:
Continuously deploying technology and innovation to develop the most progressive work tyre. Maximising customer productivity and profitability through the lowest total cost of ownership of our products.
Expanding our worldwide sales and support teams to ensure prompt ground support. Improving processes and systems to ensure a relationship with the customer is enhanced and can lead to longevity and growth.
Strive for excellence in whatever we do
Be fair to all our stakeholders and act with integrity at all times.
Showing genuine care and concern in all our actions and all that we are responsible for.
Functional cost efficiency:
Delivering our promise of the lowest total cost ownership of our products through lean, prudent and efficient ways of cost management.
“We’re not trying to be anyone else, but we do want to make the best tyre we can. We are adjusting to using better technology for higher quality, and our customers know our brand promise. We have a better product they can replace any premium tyre with.”
Nitin decided that quality also beats quantity when it comes to supplier partnerships. The company now partners with fewer vendors. “We use the funds to lock in select partners, knowing we will be together through thick and thin,” he explains.
“Previously, we weren’t as in tune with our suppliers. Through this change, we may lose pricing when things become volatile, but we are assured we will receive supply and quality products. Our machine suppliers will provide us with the latest in state-of-the-art machines and allow us to improve productivity.”
Aggressive business strategy sets ATG apart in the industry. For the sales-driven organisation, Nitin believes setting high targets is the only way to gain a competitive advantage. “Our revenue growth and profitability targets are tough,” he admits.
“It is not common in the industry, and I’ve never seen this aggressiveness in other companies I’ve worked in. Regardless of what else is happening in the market – whether the economy is doing poorly or exchange rates are unfavourable – our targets stay the same. But my team is supportive of hitting these numbers.”
“I am confident ATG will continue to do well,” he continues. “We are growing at a steady rate, and Yokohama is interested in learning from us too. We contribute to their success and have best practices to share. It’s like they are our parents and, as the younger generation, we are helping them learn new things. It’s funny at times because it is an unlikely relationship that I haven’t seen in other industries.”
Short-term success is essential but, for ATG, it’s about long-term sustainability. “I want this company to sustain this over 30 or 50 years,” Nitin says. “I see us creating leaders who will take it to the next level and persevere over time. My experience has taught me how to achieve long-term growth in business while delivering in the short term.”