25th January 2018, marked a very special day, not only for those at GRI but also for Sri Lanka, as GRI celebrated the Grand Opening of its world class Specialty Tire manufacturing facility that will produce Radial Agriculture tires for the first time in the country, thereby effectively enhancing the Sri Lanka’s export portfolio.
Mr. Jegan Durairatnam, Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer of the Commercial Bank of Sri Lanka graced the opening as Chief Guest, and honored the occasion by hoisting the National Flag alongside GRI’s Chairman Mr. Haris Premeratne and Mr. Prabhash Subasinghe, Managing Director of GRI.
The factory opening was exalted by distinguished visitors from over 35 countries.
As GRI opens the doors for specialty tire manufacturing in Sri Lanka, it will also add new items to the country’s export portfolio. This new factory will comprise of approximately 70% of Agriculture tire products and the remaining output will consist of pneumatic construction tires and forklift tires. GRI’s plant will produce the full spectrum of tires used in off road applications.
With an investment of over $ 40 million, GRI’s tire plant is a first in many respects. It is equipped with state of the art technology and many of the machines are the first of their kind to be commissioned in Sri Lanka. The team at GRI has utilized some of the most advanced technologies available with globally recognized machines that allow for an increased degree of precision, lower operator dependency and much greater automation. These factors continue to drive GRI forward and will result in enhanced consistency, higher quality, greater efficiency, reduced cycle times and wastage.
The new factory is also completely self-sufficient and is certified by ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004. GRI’s commitment to sustainability is evident throughout in its 1.2-Megawatt solar panels, biomass boilers and fully recyclable waste and water management systems. This plant is a testament to the pioneering spirit and values embodied by all at GRI. GRI’s values of purposeful action, relentless drive, far-sighted approach coupled with a discovery mindset are evident in every aspect of this plant.
GRI’s Agriculture tires have an excellent range of tread patterns, featuring high load carrying capacity at low inﬂation pressure, reduced soil compaction, exceptional traction, little vibration and superior self-cleaning properties. These high-ﬂex tires operate exceptionally on roads as well as ﬁelds. GRI’s Construction tires, on the other hand, are characterized by their unique tread designs, outstanding machine stability in demanding operations, together with its formula of special natural rubber compounds with heat, cut and abrasion resistance attributes.
At the opening ceremony, GRI went on honor the day in acknowledgement that we must continue to protect our environment and build a sustainable future. GRI gave its invitees the honor and gratification of planting over 50 trees within the facility of the factory, with the sincere intent of giving back to the environment and contributing towards the hope of a better future for the generations to come.
This was then followed by a factory tour where all guests were given the opportunity to visit the state of the art factory and watch the tire building in process. They were guided by experts in the field, who’s main responsibility was to project all who wanted to know, what GRI now plans to do and how the company aids in the development of its home country, the farmers who provide for the world’s population on a daily basis and the workers who build the structures that surround us.
GRI’s journey began in 2002, with the vision “to be a leading industrial tire producer in the world.” GRI has now gained entry to the world market, established new customers, and grown its business to over 50 countries. Mr. Subasinghe proclaimed with almost pride at his welcome address, “Today I see in front of me, my dream being realized - the first ever state of the art Radial Agricultural tire manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka, and I can proudly say, we have arrived.”
GRI solid tires are now used by Original Equipment Manufacturers and replacement forklifts all over the world. GRI is also the largest producer of solid excavator tires. They also produce tires for Port Trailers, Airport Baggage Handlers and Skid Steers.
Looking to the future, GRI will embark on an even more ambitious and exponential innovation programs. “In an ever changing, complex and uncertain world, we rise to the challenge. We understand the importance and implications of major technological shifts in our industry - the prevalence of IOT [Internet of Things], the opportunity that machine learning or AI [Artificial Intelligence], Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality can provide in making better decisions. We are now well into establishing an innovation lab that will harness many of these technologies to drive our business forward. This new frontier is something that I am deeply interested and passionate about” Mr. Subasinghe asserted.
GRI has risen to the ranks of a world class company by growing their company with strong business partnerships, broad global outreach, continued manufacturing innovation and by developing an extremely compelling product portfolio. A track record of quality and innovation have made GRI’s brands our customer’s top choice. With quality, value and a pioneering spirit at its core, GRI now joins the elite league of global specialty tire producers.