One must dare to dream. Entrepreneurship is about dreaming and conceptualising, says R.V.Gandhi, Managing Director and chief promoter of GRP Ltd in an exclusive interview with Rubber & Tyre Machinery World.
“Great leaders don’t set out to be a leader. They set out to make a difference. It’s never about the role – always about the goal.”
The above verse best summarizes Rajendra V. Gandhi (RVG). From building an ethical corporate organization in GRP, to serving on prestigious boards and industry bodies, public and private trusts that serve the cause of education in rubber, women empowerment, training in ethical values, water resource management, Gandhi’s immense contribution to Indian rubber industry has established him as an inspirational business leader and an iconic corporate citizen.
While the global reclaim industry depended on the European technology for manufacturing, Gandhi boldly decided to design, fabricate and install an entire plant and machinery for the manufacture of Reclaim Rubber, with complete indigenous components when India was largely deprived of foreign funds for imported machinery. This pioneering effort, at the start of his career as a young graduate engineer from IIT-Mumbai, ensured the beginning of a reclaim movement in India. Under Gandhi’s leadership, GRP Ltd has emerged as one of the largest manufacturer of reclaim rubber in the world, setting benchmarks for others to follow. Its an honour to know him and present you his leadership wisdom in this edition.
I urge you not to miss reading this complete interview online on our digital edition (or please click on the image above). You will immensely gain from his wisdom shared through passionate narration of personal experiences of over 40 years; know his views on changes, new ideas energizing the reclaim rubber industry, sustainability, challenges, expectations from equipment manufacturers, and machinery selection advice for buyers.
Here’s one teaser Q&A below, while the full interview has 10 questions.
Q) Reclaim Rubber is widely used in manufacturing of automobile tyres and tubes as well as many other rubber products. How do you ensure that industry acknowledges the ‘sustainability & environment friendly’ aspect of Reclaim Rubber and consciously increase its usage in their products; especially when there are favourable price fluctuations for them in NR and SR?
RVG: In the aftermath of the World War II, Reclaim Rubber emerged as a significant player in countries like USA to offer the third source of rubber hydro carbon after Natural Rubber and Synthetic Rubber. But with advent of cheap crude oil prices in the 50’s and 60’s, and huge production of Synthetic Rubber saw demise of Reclaim Rubber Industry in the western world. By late 70’s barring one or two Reclaim Rubber producers almost all manufacturers ceased to exist in USA / Europe.
As a result, almost one generation of rubber technologists did not have the knowledge of use/advantages of reclaim rubber in compounding.
Consequently, when our Company in early 90s decided to enter export market we realized, we had to re-educate technical people in the compounding division of our customers to see the benefit of Reclaim Rubber as a technically sound ingredient / raw material rather than cheap inexpensive filler. It took a lot of time and efforts to build trust with our customers.
After 2005, with the Chinese economy galloping at more than 10% annually, there was a concern worldwide about possible shortage of Natural and Synthetic Rubber. The prices of Natural and Synthetic Rubber along with crude oil price began to rise rapidly. In addition, with the adverse effect of global warming, several Governments became conscious about sustainability and environmental degradation.
GRP since then has been highlighting the role of Reclaim Rubber from the point of view of sustainability and as a environmental friendly raw material. We have succeeded to some extent in this endeavour.
In recent times, however with the crash in the commodity prices as well as in the prices of Natural and Synthetic Rubber, there are fewer incentives for using more Reclaim Rubber despite of it being more environment friendly raw material.
Also, the center fold of this issue ‘One Page Leadership Insights from Around the World’ should be an added resource for you, I trust.
I look forward to your feedback and thoughts of this interview.
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