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November 16, 2018

Volume 7 Issue 7

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Potential Growth for Indian Industrial Lubes

SINGAPORE – India’s industrial lubricant market is expected to grow, but customer relations are key to retaining loyalty to brands, an industry expert said during ICIS’s first Asian Industrial Lubricants Conference here this week.

“We see significant areas of growth in engine oils, heavy duty engine oils and high performance lubricants and greases,” said Shailendra Gokhale, managing partner of Rosefield DAA International Consultancy, a specialized lubricant consulting company based in India.

“The Indian industrial lubricant market is growing 3 percent to 3.5 percent year-on-year, and hydraulic and general industrial lubricants users are price-sensitive,” he added.

Synthetic oils account for about 6 percent of India’s overall industrial lubricants demand but are expected to reach 12 percent in the next five years. “Synthetics are expected to double, but … it is from a low base,” he told attendees.

Photo: powerofforever/iStock

Construction in downtown Agra, India. The country has undertaken extensive construction projects, meaning trucks and equipment need heavy-duty engine oils.

The consultancy estimates India's industrial lubricants market at about 1.3 million tons for this year, with the power sector having the largest share at 25 percent, followed by chemicals holding an 18 percent share and automotive lubricants used in industrial applications with 13 percent. “India has good potential for manufacturing with China’s cost of production going up,” Gokhale said. “The country is building railway freight corridors that will encourage the transportation of goods throughout the country and will encourage the development of industrial clusters along these corridors.”

Extensive construction is taking place throughout India, especially for infrastructure projects, where off-road trucks and other mobile equipment use heavy-duty engine oils.

“A relationship is the other thing you have to offer apart from products. You have to understand the Indian culture very well,” Gokhale pointed out. “Although OEM approvals carry huge weight, specialized lubricants are in danger of becoming general lubricants post-warranty, as changeover to other reputable suppliers is easy in a post-warranty situation. Hence, relationship management becomes critical,” he added.