On The Roads For Two Decades

  3 min 22 sec to read

--By Upashana Neupane
Dinesh Kumar Bartaula, Acting General Manager, Gorakhkali Rubber Udyog Ltd
Dinesh Kumar Bartaula
Acting General Manager
Gorakhkali Rubber Udyog Ltd
Gorakhkali Tyre is Nepal’s first automobile tyre. Two decades ago, in 1992 AD, the tyre was rolled in the domestic market with its popular tag line “Aayo Gorakhkali Tyre”. Gorakhkali Rubber Udyog Ltd (GRUL) established in 1985, introduced the tyre in the market only after seven years of its establishment. 
Named after the famous temple ‘Gorakh Kali’ of Gorkha, the brand name also represents the reliable and committed services of the Gurkhas. It was introduced as a brand committed to provide quality product and service that keeps up to the expectations of the consumers and to the standards of the market. 
With an aim to fulfil national demand of tyres and substituting import of tyres in the country, GRUL was established on 29 December 1985 under the Nepal Company Act 2021 as a Public-Private-ADB venture backed by the Government of Nepal. The production plant of GRUL and most of its technical front was supported by China. Currently, the Government of Nepal and its entities have a majority of shares in the company.
GRUL have a capacity of producing around 84000 heavy automobile and 40000 light commercial and passenger car tyres. Currently it is producing 12 types of truck tyres and 13 types of non-truck tyres that comply with ISI standards in terms of quality and technology.
Bias tyres, manufactured by the company, are especially made for vehicles that run on hilly roads. This tyre gives 25,000-30,000 mileage and can be resoled twice. The company imports its major raw materials, rubbers and various chemicals, from international market. 
Dinesh Kumar Bartaula, Acting General Manager of the company, shares that presently the company is producing only 40% of its total capacity due to working capital constraints.
He said that Gorakhkali Tyres were exported to Sri Lanka and Thailand during 1999-2000. But the exports were stopped as the company had to sell at a price that did not yield any profit. Another reason for stopping the export, Bartaula said, was the steadily increasing demand for the tyre within the country itself. 
Gorakhkali Tyres cost has been revisited time and again. Bartaula shares that it has been difficult for the product to sustain in the market due to steep competition with radial tyres. While radial tyres are suitable for sophisticated urban roads, bias tyres produced by Gorakhkali Tyres, are suitable for hilly roads. 
“GRUL once had monopoly in the tyre market and dominated it, but the scenario has changed now. It’s difficult to compete with radial tyres”, he said. “Presently the company doesn’t have enough capital to produce radial tyres,” he shared adding that it is hard for the product to compete with cheap Indian tyres, that are manufactured at relatively 
lower cost. 
Though Gorakhkali tyre had earned good brand reputation among consumers for more than two decade, the brand is suffering from financial losses for the last few years. Bartaula points to political intervention as one of the major reason for the company’s present standing. 
Despite odds, Bartaula is hopeful that the company will continue sustaining its brand image and market reputation in the days ahead.

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