“Shell India Market Private Limited is a fully owned subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies. It is one of the largest and most diversified international investor in India’s energy sector among all global integrated oil companies. Shell India represents its liquefied natural gas, bitumen, retail and lubricants business in India, alongwith a significant Technology Centre and financial business service centre.” Lubricants business is represented by Mr. Nitin Prasad, Country Head – India, Shell Lubricants.
Given the rapid mechanisation involving the process of infrastructure construction, Mr. Prasad is quite optimistic about the future demand of lubricants from original construction equipment manufacturers and owners in India. Currently, 15% of business is derived by Shell Lubricants from construction equipment sector in India.
In an interaction with P. P. Basistha, he spells out the reasons of his optimism and explains how Shell Lubricants is positioned to take on the growing demand and build a brand identity in India’s construction equipment market where lubricants demand and finally brand recall is determined by numerous challenging factors. Shell’s range of lubricants includes hydraulic oils, industrial gear oils, greases, air compressor oil, heavy duty diesel engine and gear oils, passenger car motor oils, motorcycle oils, and others.
Shell Lubricants business overview and demand prospects from Indian construction equipment sector
Shell Lubricants has an integrated set-up in India. We have our own blending facility at Taloja in Maharashtra that was set up in 1995. The facility is being upgraded further taking into cognizance the emerging requirements of lubricants from the Indian market. A strong research and development team comprising 2500 personnel is based in our new campus technology centre in Bengaluru that provides inputs for preparation of the lubricants.
Marketing support to the blending facility is ensured by our seventeen depots and two hundred distributors, located across India, to ensure delivery of the lubricants just on time both to the OEM and owners of construction equipment in job sites at strategic locations. Shell possesses the reputation of 99% on time delivery of its products, which allows not only the equipment owners to minimize down time but also cut down substantially on inventory costs. We foresee, growing demand of engine oils and other variety of lubricants from Indian construction equipment sector, catalyzed by growing mechanisation of construction activities. However, at par with developed markets, we see the demand of lubricants in India growing not due to country’s growing GDP, but proliferation of large numbers of OEM’s and growing number of construction equipment owners, both representing the institutional and rental segment.
Positioning towards offering value selling for brand recall
Shell creates its lubricants both for the global and Indian construction equipment market through forming research and development alliance with original equipment manufacturers. Providing engine oils for extended equipment uptime in differential weather conditions is also key for Shell. Shell Lubricants works with OEMs to draw on the technical knowledge and expertise to deliver a range of heavy duty lubricant products, business services and maintenance solutions that can help to add real value to the operations. Komatsu, Schwing Stetter, Ashok Leyland, and Eicher are some of the OEMs of repute with whom we are having an alliance for formulation of heavy duty lubricants and marketing endorsement. It is worth mentioning here that Shell Rimula, heavy duty diesel engine oils from the Shell Lubricants portfolio, is designed to protect construction equipment even in extreme conditions. Through the use of adaptive technology, Shell Rimula reacts to the operational conditions of the equipment to help provide optimal equipment protection.
R&D and condition monitoring support
Shell Lubricants invests heavily in lubricant R&D which has allowed us to be ‘first to market’ with a number of lubricants innovations and value-added services. We work closely with the customers to provide solutions in long-term partnerships and pride ourselves on finding practical solutions to the challenges they face. Shell delivers customer benefits through better technology which results from our 4D process: Define, Design, Develop, and Demonstrate. This systematic approach to product development combines a deep understanding of the customer challenge with applied fundamental science and an innovative approach to component selection. Shell invests heavily in the development of the next generation of lubricants that will deliver improved energy efficiency for our customers without compromising protection in accordance with the requirements of OEMs that focuses on minimisation of total operation costs during the lifecycle of the equipment. To ensure higher equipment uptime through our lubricants, we source additives from globally reputed companies. The additives are sourced based on Shell’s own standards and specifications. Shell provides engine condition monitoring support for the equipment through our service engineers and our distributors. However, the quantum of onsite support depends on the scale and business volumes.
Offerings for B2B and B2C through product plus mode
To meet the needs of B2C and B2B customers in India, Shell has launched the ‘Product PLUS’ portfolio that offers a wide range of services. Some of the services included in the portfolio are Shell Lube Match, Lube Analyst, and Lube Clinic. Lube Match is a web based tool which is designed to help customers match their vehicles and engines to the correct lubricants whether in the commercial vehicle, industrial or off-road sectors. Shell Lube Clinic and Lube Analyst facilitate low turn around time and offers reduced direct cost of testing as compared to comprehensive oil condition monitoring programme. Additionally, they reduce the tendency to rely on human senses to take decisions and helps avoid wrong top ups.
Expectations from Excon 2013
Excon 2013, the mega construction equipment event would be an important platform to disseminate information about our range of product offerings. With large number of OEM participating at the event, it will provide us an opportunity to interact and educate customers about the benefits of using Shell Lubricants through showcasing our existing and new product offerings.