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October 24, 2017

Volume 7 Issue 3

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Gulf Oil Sets Sights on B2B Segment

India’s focus on infrastructure development offers opportunities for a strong fiscal year 2017-2018 in both consumer and business-to-business segments, Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd. noted in its annual report.

The government’s Make in India initiative involves expansion, construction and modernization of roadways, metro networks and ports through the Bharat Mala and Sagar Mala programs. The boost in infrastructure development will augur well for the company’s future growth, Gulf Oil said in its recap for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.

The Make in India initiative aims to make the country a global manufacturing hub by encouraging foreign and domestic investment in the production of automobiles, chemicals, shipping, mining and railways. The Indian government is also developing six industrial corridors with industrial cities across various regions of the country.

“In light of all these supporting factors, the outlook for automotive as well as industrial lubricants appears positive in the 2018 fiscal year,” the Mumbai-based lubricant maker said in the report, released Sept. 21.

Gulf sells a wide range of automotive and industrial lubricants and greases through more than 300 distributors and over 55,000 retailers across India. Consumer automotive lubricants account for about 67 percent of the company’s sales volumes. The rest are in the commercial, or B2B segment, which covers industrial oils; mining, construction and agricultural equipment lubricants; original equipment manufacturer tie-ups and government supply contracts; and commercial fleet deals.

“We plan to increase exposure to the B2B segment for tapping the benefit from the reviving road construction, industrial and OEM activities,” Gulf Oil Managing Director Ravi Chawla said in the report. The company achieved double-digit growth during the 2016-2017 fiscal year in sales to OEMs, industrial customers and customers working on infrastructure projects. It has tie-ups with several OEMs and over 350 infrastructure, mining and fleet customers.

The company’s lubricants output totaled 84,000 metric tons in the fiscal year, up 11 percent from the previous year.

Gulf Oil is building a 50,000 tons per year plant in Chennai with an investment of about Rs 180 crore (Rs 1.8 billion, or approximately U.S. $27.6 million). The plant is nearing completion, and the company expects to start operations there by the end of this calendar year. It currently supplies products across the country from its 90,000 tons per year blending plant in Silvassa, in western India.

The company noted that it recently began offering engine oils for fishing trawlers in an attempt to tap growth opportunities in the “often ignored” consumer segment. 

Photo: Joe Beeton

Gulf Oil Lubricants said it's looking for continued growth in its business-to-business segments -- which include supply to original equipment manufacturers as well as industrial oils and mining, agricultural and commercial vehicle lubricants.