New Head of Production – Udaiyappan Ulagappan
"Ladysmith Factory is pleased to formally introduce Udaiyappan ‘Udaiy’ Ulagappan as the new Head of Production following the retirement of Harold Pinto."
Udaiy is no stranger to SRSA or the Ladysmith Factory, having several years of service at the plant in the capacity of Group Manager: Production & Planning and Divisional Head: Factory Operations.
Udaiy qualified as a mechanical engineer in India in 1999 and joined Apollo Tyres in the same year in the field of Production Planning before taking a position with India based MRF Tyres for a year in 2006. Thereafter, he rejoined Apollo Tyres and relocated to South Africa in 2007 where he worked at the Ladysmith plant for five years. He managed the Planning and Industrial Engineering Department, before returning back to India for a short stint in 2012 to head a number of engineering projects. Udaiy, once again, returned to Ladysmith in 2014.
Speaking of his aspirations and objectives for the Ladysmith Factory, Udaiy says that it is a very interesting time to be heading the plant as he has the support and expertise of a young, dynamic team.
“Our goal is to provide consistent production of the right product sizes, at the right time and at the right costs.” He goes on to elaborate that some of their immediate objectives include, “developing the talent pool amongst the staff at the factory and to take operations to the next level, including the target to become the benchmark factory within the Sumitomo Rubber Industries Group.”
Udaiy is excited about the implementation of the R1.1billion investment into the plant’s operations by parent company, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd (SRI), based in Japan. These complement the company’s decision to ramp up production and quality standards. This investment will ensure the Ladysmith plant follows the same world-class manufacturing standards as any of SRI’s ten other global plants.
Although challenging, Udaiy and his team are certainly equipped for these ambitious developments and are confident that the Ladysmith Factory will meet its ultimate goal of becoming the supply base for tyres to the whole of the African continent.
We welcome Udaiy and wish him well in his future endeavours at Ladysmith.