What is common to Sachin Tendulkar, Brain Lara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and AB de Villiers to name just a few?
They have all used the MRF logo on their cricket bats.
No other brand in the world can boast of association with such big sporting icons.
In 1946, when K. M. Mammen Mappillai started a toy balloon manufacturing unit with a funding of Rs.14000 in a humble shack at Tiruvottiyur, Madras, little did he know where his venture would lead to!
By 1949, the company was making latex cast toys, gloves and contraceptives and in 1952 it changed course and turned to tread rubber manufacturing, the start of its glorious reign as the undisputed leader in the tyre making industry.
Madras Rubber Factory Limited was incorporated as a private company in November 1960 and established a technical collaboration for the manufacture of tyres in partnership with Mansfield Tire & Rubber company, in Ohio, USA. In 1961, the then Chief Minister, K Kamaraj released the first tyre from the new pilot plant at Tiruvottiyur,
The company went public on 1 April 1961.
In 1964, they established an overseas office at Beirut to tap the export market and in 1967 started export tyres to USA!
1964 the MRF Muscleman was born!
There was no stopping MR. New factories were added in 1970 at Kottayam,1971 in Goa,1972 in Arakonam,1989 in Medak, in 1996 on its golden jubilee a factory in Pondicherry for radials, 2011 in Trichy for conventional tyres and in 2012 plant for radials only in Trichy and today the company has 9 state-of-the-art factories.
In 1989 the company collaborated with Hasbro International USA, the world’s largest toy maker and launched Funskool India.
Contribution to sport, unparalleled amongst all India companies.
1. In 1988, it set up the MRF Pace foundation under Dennis Lillee as a coaching clinic for training fast bowlers and the some of the players to represent India are Javagal Srinath, Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, Venkatesh Prasad, R. P. Singh, Zaheer Khan and S Sreesanth. Foreign players like Chaminda Vaas, Glenn McGrath, Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee have also trained here. Glenn McGrath is the current Director of the Foundation.
1989 sponsored the World Series Cricket Tournaments for the Jawaharlal Nehru Trophy
In 1990, MRF brought the 6th World Cup Boxing Championship to Mumbai
MRF built its first Formula 3 car in 1997. MRF Challenge is a Formula 2000 open-wheel motorsport formula based series organized by Madras Motor Sports Club in association with MRF and races in Chennai, Bahrain, Doha and Noida.
MRF has sponsored Indian racing drivers including Narain Karthikeyan, Karun Chandok, Ashwin Sundar, N. Leelakrishnan and Raj Bharath.
MRF rally team
The MRF rally team participates in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship and Indian National Rally Championship and have won multiple championships. MRF also participates in Raid De Himalaya, the world’s highest rally.
MRF promotes a national motocross championship, a form of all-terrain two wheeler racing held on enclosed off-road circuits annually across several cities.
MRF sponsors major karting championships in India. MRF is the first Indian tyre company to develop FIA approved karting tyres.
MRF is the sleeve sponsor for the Premier League clubs Newcastle United, West Ham United F.C. and official tyre partner for West Bromwich Albion.
With such rich credentials it is not a surprise that the Rs.10 face value share is priced at Rs.66,000 today making it the most expensive share in India today.
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– Melvyn Pinto