According to Mr. Kanwar, sales offices in Dubai and Bangkok have established themselves and are opening up new markets and new opportunities for the company.
Further commenting on long-term planning, Mr. Kanwar said Apollo's office in Singapore, opened during 2015, is set to begin operations as a purchase hub, but would eventually aim to serve as the firm's key base for global procurement, integrated supply chain, commodity trading and hedging.
In the short run, Mr. Kanwar said he saw the coming year as “another in a string of challenging years, with global uncertainties, talk of QE [quantitative easing] roll-back by the U.S. Federal Reserve, currency instability across much of Europe and slowing growth in large economies like China.”
He did, however, foresee a slightly brighter year for India, saying “green shoots of a revival can now be seen.”
The Apollo boss also addressed the issue of rubber prices, which “continue to be low not because of imports or any other reason other than the fact that demand for all commodities has continued to stagnate.
“This is a reflection of the [global] demand situation in the consuming industries, of which the tire industry is the largest.
Mr. Kanwar warned that artificial means of propping up prices would work in the long run in a globally connected economy like India's, adding that the only sustained effect on prices can be with a strong and buoyant economy.
Shahrzad Pourriahi is a reporter for European Rubber Journal, a United Kingdom-based sister publication of Tire Business.