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Metal Working Fluids “Better partnerships with customers”

Mar 29, 2017

Pallath Ravindran, Vice President, Tectyl Oil & Chemicals, in this interview with Suchi Adhikari, discusses the differentiating strategies that his company is implementing in order to create partnerships with customers and be a solution provider, rather than a product supplier. Excerpts…

What were the new products and technologies launched during IMTEX 2017?

This IMTEX, in line with our strategy of customised solutions, we have launched a new, sensitive product-line in India called Quenching Fluids, which is for the heat treatment market for the metals. These products are already available globally, but we are launching it for the first time in India. The reason we delayed was because we had to fine-tune our products as per the Indian market conditions.

What is the impact of the ‘Make in India’ initiative on the Indian manufacturing sector? How is your company strategising its plan for manufacturing activities in India?

It is a great initiative to boost the manufacturing sector in India. While a lot of activity is happening, the ground reality is still to take shape. Nevertheless, many companies are planning to come to India and set up a manufacturing base. We, from Tectyl, have already taken this initiative forward. Last year, we set up a new plant in Chennai. All the products that we sell today are manufactured in India.

Brief us on the major trends in your industry sector in the upcoming years.

In the industry front, there is a graduation happening with a lot of machine technology and cutting tool technology coming into India. There is a huge change happening in the way machining is done in India. Another major change that will be noticed in the Indian metalworking industry is that there will be a stage when the fluid manufacturer will engage in a partnership with the customer.

How do you plan to align your company’s Vision 2020 strategy with these trends?

One of the major investments that we do in our company is in R&D. We have 25% of our staff in Korea, working in the R&D department. Our focus would be to work on customised solutions and gear up with the technology to make those solutions for our customers in the coming years.

What would be the differentiating factor in your product in comparison to the existing products?

We are gearing up for the future with the total fluids solution concept. This is the first step towards our partnership with customers. We bring in R&D along with sales to the customer, rather than only products. We look forward to better partnership in the future with the product profile that we are expanding. Right now, we are only into metal-cutting. Last year, we introduced metal-forming. This year, we are launching the quenching fluids and in the coming year, we will be launching rolling oils. This completes the entire portfolio of the metalworking applications. We are one of the few companies who will be offering this entire package to customers. Customers will perceive us as a solution provider and not just a product supplier.

How has your company coped with the rapid pace of digitalisation and Industry 4.0 in the manufacturing sector?

We are new to the Indian market, in terms of the manufacturing facility and the organisation set-up. We are not fully into digitalisation yet, but the work is going on. In a year or two, we will be completely geared for the entire digitalisation of the company.

How do you plan to expand your company’s market presence in India?

Our objective is to increase the market share in the next two years by providing product solutions and customised solutions to our customers. In terms of expansion, we plan to open a second plant in 2019 in India. We also plan to target the mining sector in the future.

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