50 pc employees at Vizag plant to be women: Yokohama Off-Highway Tires

After witnessing many surprising outcomes from the all-women shop-floor at its Dahej plant, Yokohama Off-Highway Tires has decided to have 50 per cent staff as women at its upcoming plant in Vizag. The world’s leading off-highway tyremaker began hiring women for the shop-floor in September 2018, thus becoming the first tyre company to do so on its heavy-duty tyre shop-floor at the Dahej plant, with lots of apprehensions given the nature of the work, said Yokohama India Group Head Nitin Mantri.

“When we started hiring women, we were too skeptical as we had too many apprehensions. But, we were so surprised by their promptness, productivity which is much higher than their male counterparts and 100 per cent safety on the all-women shopfloor,” Yokohama Off-Highway Tires Director Mantri, who is also chairman of Yokohama India and CEO of ATG Tires, told on Monday.

They rolled down the first tyre in February 2019 after the induction and training programme and were inducted into the truck and bus radial unit first and then extended to radial OTR (off-the-road) unit in February 2020.

Currently, 7 per cent of its total workforce are women, and there are 108 women on the shopfloor, he said adding that over the next two years 15 per cent of the total workforce will be women. “As of March, there are 108 women on the floor, including six supervisors who lead these two teams.”

He said that from zero per cent women on the shopfloor in 2017 to 7 per cent women workforce now, the company aims to touch 15 per cent by 2022. “And, our upcoming factory in Visakhapatnam will also have 50 per cent women workforce. These women are responsible for production of up to 1,200 tonnes per month,” he said on the occasion of the International Women’s Day.

He said that in the first phase of the Vizag plant, which will be commissioned mid-2022, there will be 400-500 women employees. Similar will be their number in the second phase too.

The ground-breaking for the USD 165-million Vizag plant was carried out last month and the work is in full swing, and will be commissioned by the middle of next year, he added.

The 1,26,000-tonne per annum Dahej plant employs 2,600 persons, while the 86,800 tonne Tirunelveli plant 2,300. The upcoming Vizag phase-1 will have a capacity of 36,750 tonnes and would employ around 1,000.

Yokohama Off Highway Tires (YOHT) is the consolidated off-the-road business identity of The Yokohama Rubber Co.

YOHT specialises in design, development, manufacturing and marketing of agriculture, forestry, construction, industrial, earthmoving, mining and port and other commercial tires numbering over 3,500 SKUs under the Alliance, Galaxy, Primex and Yokohama OTR brands.

In January, the Tokyo-based Yokohama Rubber consolidated its various off-highway businesses into one single entity called Yokohama Off-Highway Tires. The group has seven plants across Japan (three) India (two at Tirunelveli and Dahej and third one upcoming at Visakhapatnam) one in Israel.

These two plants produce all the three key off-highway tyre brands of ATG – Alliance for agricultural machinery, galaxy for construction and industrial machinery, and primex for forestry machinery and over 90 per cent of the production is exported to over 120 countries.