Tionale Pte Ltd, incorporated in 1982 in Singapore started its operations as a trading company. Since inception, the company has grown rapidly into a multi-location global organization with investments in manufacturing, trading & distribution. Mr Rajesh shares with Tyrexpo Series how he brought the company through the milestones to the conglomerate it is today.
Mr. Rajesh Sahasranamam, General Manager
Tionale Pte Ltd
Tyrexpo Series: Thank you Mr Rajesh for taking the time out of your busy schedule to come and speak to us. We are very excited to speak to you. You come from a conglomerate, Tionale, which covers a very wide area. The automotive business actually started in the early 2000s, you joined the business in 2003. I think a lot of the growth can be attributable to you, so I think for the benefits of our viewers all across the world, could you share with us a little bit about your role, the scope it covers and then we can move into the business after.
Mr Rajesh: First of all, thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure being in Johannesburg with all the other exhibitors. To answer your question, I handle the automotive part of Tionale’s business, strategizing on where the company should be, on what exactly we focus on, which are the markets that would take us to our door. So those are the placed elements that I handled as a group for the automotive.
Tyrexpo Series: Ok. Could you tell us a little about the very diverse range of products that you carry under the automotive segment?
Mr Rajesh: Well, falling into tyres basically begun with a joint venture in India for the cross ply segments because in those days there were still a big demand for the cross ply in Asia as well as in domestic Indian market. So we have a range of light trucks all the way up to OTR and mining from the motorcycle tyres. So it’s a good range for the distributors in each market to carry, so that is one part of the business. With the market changing from cross ply to radial, you can’t be without that segment of the business if you are in the automotive spectrum and you cannot live without China as they produce products that are very competitive and value for a lot of players in the market. So we handled truck and bus tyres of China as well, exclusively representing certain brands for specific geographical areas and we have our own brand as well when we started.
Tyrexpo Series: Right, so you actually saw the business transit through at least two clear milestones for the business, when you started you were primarily doing trading, for example Chinese tyres and in the late 2000s, you actually had your first in-house brand. Could you share with us a little about that?
Mr Rajesh: Well, that’s a different experience because trading and manufacturing are not easy; one side sees the other as much easier. But the challenges of manufacturing are to be seen when you take it up. But it gives us a lot of experience in handling various markets, deep inside you gained a great knowledge about what the customer is expecting, all the markets behaved, all the trades behaved, what products you really need to build in, and that give us a tremendous amount of exposure which we could later carry on to the Chinese segment trying to a build a exclusivity on certain plans. This helped us to gain advantage rather than just doing trading.
Tyrexpo Series: So for the benefit of our viewers, could you share with us a little bit more about your house brand that you developed yourself?
Mr Rajesh: Sure. We have two brands Stud and Vayu. Vayu is air in Indian language (Hindi). Stud is like a horse galloping and we have a cast line called strength redefined. Because as we move forward, we thought customers would need certain brands on exclusive basis and a range of products to cater to their customers. This was probably one of the best approaches that we thought we could give to our customers and I believed it paid off well.
Tyrexpo Series: Could you share with us the differences between the two lines and what product segments they cover?
Mr Rajesh: Well, branding wise is very similar but if you see the manufacturing side, it’s all cross ply, we don’t have radial set up in India so it is completely cross ply while the Chinese is completely on the radial segment. The Stud from China covers the entire truck and bus range but the Stud we have here: the motorcycles, light truck, trucks, ¬¬agricultural, industrial, so it’s a two different range that customers can have on their footstep.
Tyrexpo Series: So we could considered that as a first milestone for the business, and shortly after your expansion globally really started to take off, could you share with us a little bit more about that?
Mr Rajesh: Well, Tionale is a company that has been very strong in Africa for many years. Our first foray was in Africa so that’s why we know the market pretty well. It was West Africa, East Africa and slowly we move to Northern Africa as well. So more or less I think the West , East and North has taken off well. With this show, we are looking at together a little more market share in the Southern Africa region, as of today we are not present. So that will cover Africa as a whole. Then couple of years back, we set up a office in Miami which we want to get into the Central America and American markets, so what is going on could take some time but progressively I think we are stepping forward.
Tyrexpo Series: Alright, and you are also strong within the South-East Asia markets as well?
Mr Rajesh: Ya, especially on the nylon products because in Indonesia and Philippines are dominant markets for the nylon segment, a lot of offered applications so we will be pretty strong in these markets as well.
Tyrexpo Series: Ok, so you have a very interesting story Rajesh. Although you joined a little bit after the foundation, the forming of the business, the automotive segment. You have actually seen it grow tremendously, a lot of it is done through the hard work of you and your team based out of Singapore as we understand. So for the benefits of people who are viewing, if you were to summarize Tionale in 2 sentences, what would it be?
Mr Rajesh: Well, the tagline says “We delivere what we promise”. So we been in the business since 1982, the longevity itself clearly shows that the principles of the management and we are in for the long haul. So that’s about it, the years of presence in the markets really tells about who we are.
Tyrexpo Series: Alright, it is a wonderful story. You’re not just a distributor, you’re a manufacturer as well. You oversee expansion to markets so we wish you all the best in your forward growth and future endeavors with Tionale and we look forward to catching up with you again soon.
Mr Rajesh: Ya, thank you so much once again from the entire team for having us here. It’s been a wonderful trip in Johannesburg and look forward to seeing you next year.
Tyrexpo Series: Thank you Rajesh.
Mr. Ian Wu, Director (Health-Tech), Events Business
SingEx Exhibitions Pte Ltd