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TT Aug-Sept 2021

August, 2021

If we talk about F1, probably the most famous motorsports in the world, Pirelli is the most glaring name that comes to mind. Since 2007, the Italian tyre maker (which actually is no more owned by Italians, but Chinese ) has been the sole supplier of tyres to F1 and built its brand in the world. The tyre industry, though it has been
an unattractive industry, unlike the IT sector, is getting some glamour due to the gaining popularity of motorsport in India. Over the years, tyre companies like JK Tyre, MRF, BKT and TVS Srichakra are heavily investing in motorsports – though not like cricket – as part of tyre development and brand building. Motorsport offers an open lab for tyre companies to experiment on design, construction and compounds, and develop new products in harsh conditions. For brand building, it is an ideal platform to connect to youth. In recent times, many young racers sponsored by tyre companies have showcased their talents in the international arena. Over the years, motorsport in India is also witnessing the growing participation of women. However, motorsport in the country still needs to have world-class infrastructure and many more events to connect and encourage youth to be part of it. However, it will be interesting to see whether tyre companies will remain enthusiastic about motorsport in the near future as Covid has changed many equations and priorities in the business. (TT)

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