The Hinduja Group-owned Gulf Oil Lubricants India aims to stand at Top 2 position amongst the private sector lubricant companies in India by 2020. On the side-lines of EXCON 2017, senior spokespersons of the company speak to B2B Purchase and explain the future roadmap.
Here is the excerpts from an interview with Ravi Chawla, Managing Director; Somesh Sabhani, Vice President – B2B; and Deepak K Tiwari, Senior GM – Infrastructure, Mining & Fleet Business, Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd:
Lubricants play a crucial role in determining the emission from a vehicle. As the government plans to bring in BS-IV by 2020, are you ready for this?
Ravi Chawla: It’s not only about the vehicles which are on road which will have to meet BS-VI but even construction equipment and off-road vehicle would have to meet the emission standards from 2020 onwards. We have oils which will meet the BS- VI emission standard and some vehicles are undergoing field trials.
We have introduced AdBlue that helps a vehicle meet the BS-IV and BS-VI emission standards. AdBlue is an additive that reduces the most harmful substance – nitrogen oxide (NOx) – in diesel engine exhaust gases.
We already have signed up with Force Motors and Bharat Benz for providing AdBlue to them. Currently, we have more than 30 per cent of market share in AdBlue and looking forward to building partnerships with a few construction equipment makers for AdBlue.
How do you see the response for new your products at EXCON?
Somesh Sabhani: The outlook for year 2018 is very positive. There is an upsurge in infrastructure development activities in the country especially in the field of road construction, metro rails and mining.
The government recent announcements of Sagarmala and Bharatmala will also attract significant investments across sectors. At EXCON 2017, we witnessed the same kind of momentum across the OEM partners and the construction companies.
In the context of projects like Bharatmala to Sagarmala, how do you foresee the growth for lubricant industries?
Ravi Chawla: All the major infrastructure development programmes in India including Smart Cities, Bharatmala, Sagarmala etc. lubricants will play a very critical role in keeping the deployed machines running with optimum efficiency. We foresee huge industry growth in the lubricants industry in the coming years.
In last ten years, the Indian lubricants industry has grown at about two per cent in volumes whereas, we have been growing at 11 per cent CAGR. As per survey conducted by IMRB for Gulf Oil, Gulf Oil stands at No. 3 in brand recall survey amongst the lubricant brands of India. By 2020, we aim to stand at Top 2 position amongst the private sector lubricant companies in India. We are committed to deliver superior services along with best quality lubricants which have the highest degree of drain intervals.
Apart from adding products like AdBlue, what kind of value proposition you are going to bring for your customers?
Deepak K Tiwari: As part of our strategy, we emphasis on having strong customer relationship, we pay attention to customer feedback. This reflects in our products, as we are the pioneers in ‘long drain interval’ engine oil for e.g. gear and axle oils now a drain interval of 1,20,000 km from 80,000 km, which was 40,000 km earlier. While, it also extends the service intervals significantly and offers greater value proposition for our customers. In addition, quality of our oils is much better in terms of the way we formulate them. We also provide technical and condition monitoring services.
Somesh Sabhani: Our hydraulic oils are made from Group II base oils in which Turbine Oil Stability Test (TOST) life is double from normal hydraulic oil. In case of normal hydraulic oil available in the market, the TOST life would be 2,000 to 2,500 hours whereas our TOST life of our hydraulic oil is 5,000 hours. Doubling the TOST life means doubling the service life – this is something that we guarantee. Our OEM partner, Schwing Stetter, a concrete equipment major, has chosen us as their partner due to this reason.
Apart from the longer drain intervals, what are the other parameters a customer should consider while they select a lubricant for their machines?
Deepak K Tiwari: Mining and construction sectors are largely unorganised and sites are located at remote locations. So, in around 60 per cent of cases, they would like to rely on technologically advanced products that can increase their machine uptime. However, the balance 40 per cent of decision making for lubricants procurement depends on how a lubricants company provides an end-to-end solution. So, the whole strategy of our Infra Mining and Fleet (IMF) business is to create a single point interface between customers and Gulf Oil. It involves partnering and consulting the customers by providing them with superior products, support them to take rational decision and thereby create value addition.
Today, probably Gulf is the only lubricants player in the country that has a dedicated team which reaches out to around 5,000 consumer sites at various remote locations and offers bundle of services from consulting to rationalisation to logistics. So apart, from longer drain intervals, these are the essential factors when customers decide to procure lubricants.
Please brief us on the product that you have launched for Kobelco at EXCON 2017.
Deepak K Tiwari: Kobelco Construction Equipment largely overlaps with our consumer base; infrastructure (roadw ays) being the key business drivers for both the companies. Therefore, this synergy becomes very strategic for Gulf Oil as well as Kobelco.
In this context, we have introduced a complete series – from high-end diesel engine oil to high-end hydraulic gear oil and greases for their post warranty after-market, which primarily is going to get sold through their dealers as well as all the larger infrastructure players.
Somesh Sabhani: Going forward, as there is a complete synergy between Gulf Oil and construction equipment OEMs, we are going very aggressive on partnering with them.
How the collaboration with OEMs helps the end users?
Somesh Sabhani: The end user gets a lubricant which is tailor-made to specific equipment of that OEM and is the best for providing optimal protection and performance.
Keeping the 2018 in mind, what will be your five core objectives for the next year?
Ravi Chawla: We want to be a part of India’s growth story and we will continue to perform better than the industry. The second objective is to keep improving our products basis customer feedback in much organised way. Third, is to grow and nurture our OEM partnerships. Fourthly, we should be able to enhance our existing tie-ups to deliver greater value addition. And fifth core objective is to build better and stronger relationships with all our stakeholders.