Mr. Hari Prakash, CEO GP Petroleums Ltd., looks forward to the exciting activity in the Indian Automotive Lube space together with Repsol and supports the Make in India initiative. He shares his thoughts below on the Indian Automotive Lubricants Market, their readiness for meeting the BS VI norms and the impact of EV.
Q 1.) The lubricant market is a competitive one, with razor thin margins, what are expectations of GP Petroleums Limited from the Indian market?
Mr. Hari Prakash: India is an important emerging nation having a high growth rate. Enhanced consumer spending for a better lifestyle, accelerating infrastructure development and stronger foreign investments in India, are the reasons for the rapid growth in lubricants consumption in India.
With an increase in mobility and infrastructure there is a significant increase in lubricants demand, which creates an opportunity for us. Technology and efficient supply chain will help in keeping our heads high in a market where margins are getting squeezed.
Q 2.) Globally Repsol is among top 10 market players, so what are the plans for the Indian market?
Mr. Hari Prakash: GP Petroleums Limited (GPPL) is working on developing high-performance lubricants at an affordable cost for the mass market segments. Also, India is tightening emission norms and improving fuel quality limits, which create an opportunity for lubricants industry for the development of high-performance lubricants that offer fuel economy and durability.
Repsol being a premium brand would offer a complete range of products to suit the market needs, both for the existing vehicles and also offer latest technology products for the new gen vehicles. We strongly believe in co-development with OEMs, Additive and Component suppliers to develop the right products for the different segments in the market.
Q 3.) Which specific segments are you focussing on?
Mr. Hari Prakash: India Market is one of the leading markets for Motor Cycles. With the increase in urbanization there is a significant increase in the personal mobility and Motor Cycles are one of the important means for transportation in Urban Regions. In personal mobility PCMO is again a fast growing segment and we are focusing on developing low viscometric & fuel efficient lubricants for gasoline engines to meet the emission norms of BS VI.
Also due to the increase in the infrastructure projects and transportation sector, HDDO segment is on a growth path. Our focus is to serve these segments with high-performance lubricants at a competitive cost.
Currently, we are focusing on differentiated product developments for market segments, which can satisfy the needs of the market and establish a brand value for Repsol in an already crowded lube market in India.
Q 4.) How is GP Petroleums Limited gearing for BSVI migration?
Mr. Hari Prakash: At GPPL, we are closely working with additive companies to develop low viscometric and low SAPs products that meet the emission and fuel economy requirements without compromising the durability. Evaluation of different base oil technology and additive technology is key for the BS VI migration and in GP is working closely with additive suppliers to deliver products for BS VI. To put it simply, we are ready for the ride with technology upgradation.
Q 5.) As the move to electric vehicles steadily gains speed, how do you think that will impact lubricants demand?
Mr. Hari Prakash: EVs are steadily gaining traction and may be dominating the new vehicle market by 2025 – 30. However, the current vehicles, which are significant in number will remain in the market for a certain time period. Therefore, this segment will present an opportunity for the market and the lubricant manufacturer. The impact of EVs on the lubricants demand will be realised in the longer run, where the requirements for coolants and greases may increase considering EV requirements. For now we will continue to focus on our core business.
Mr. Hari Prakash: GP Petroleums will present the strategic positioning of Repsol in the Indian market and how we plan to differentiate from the other major players. The partnership with Honda is going strong for over 24 years in the Moto GP and the Repsol Honda team has been winning several world championship including the recent circuit of 2018. We plan to capitalise on this winning platform and extend the world class products to other segments of Passenger cars and Commercial vehicles as well. Repsol is indeed a Champions’ Choice.