How do you see the lubricants industry evolving in India over the years?
India is the third largest consumer of lubricants in the world and is growing, not just on the commercial side, but on the consumer side as well. It is evolving in terms of technology by becoming much more advanced and progressive in that regard. Just a few years ago, people were more inclined to buying basic types of products. Now we see a push towards higher technology products that can really help to enhance their businesses.
How is ExxonMobil contributing to the lubricants industry?
We have always been pushing the boundaries and been the first ones to market with the highest technology products and drive people’s productivity, safety and environmental care through those high-technology products. Apart from that, our broader business in terms of the base stocks we bring to the market are used by many.
Which are the key drivers that equipment builders are looking at in the lubricants industry?
Equipment itself is evolving, particularly around efficiency. One question that the equipment builders are looking at is how they can do more with less. Besides, they are looking at how they can make the gear box smaller or the hydraulic system lighter and cheaper to produce, while having the same output. This makes lubricants hotter and work harder. One more aspect equipment builders are looking at in the lubricants industry is how they can keep maintenance to a minimum and make a machine run for a very long time, without having to do anything. Therefore, from a lubricants perspective, that’s about oil life, wear protection, and longevity of the product in the application.
Energy efficiency is a key issue for companies in the manufacturing sector. Could you share your thoughts on how this issue can be dealt with?
As manufacturers, often one of their biggest cost components, outside of the raw materials for the product they make, is energy. There are a lot of different ways that they can go about it; for example, they can buy new equipment or find other ways to obtain the energy at a lower rate. But when it comes to lubricants, even by effectively managing the lubricants, one can make a huge impact on the energy efficiency. In our case, we do emphasise a lot on this aspect of our products, where we try to provide energy efficiency to the end-user. Just changing the lubricant can help someone enjoy that benefit.
The lubricants industry makes quite an impact on the environment. How does ExxonMobil make sure that it is protecting the environment while also taking ahead its business?
Having extended oil life helps, as it means that you’re disposing off fewer products. If you’re disposing off few products, it means you will have to make less in the first place. This means higher energy efficiency for our end-users and hence, lower green gas emissions and fewer watts deployed.
What does ExxonMobil have in store for the next 5 years?
To bring solutions to our customers here in India, not just to grow our business but to grow the country as well, as it’s a very important market to us. A lot of product technology will also be coming from us in the months and years to come; we are always focused on how we can bring better solutions to our customers, where we are constantly trying to innovate, be it in greases or hydraulic oils or anything else. Besides, for us, it goes beyond the product; we do sell lubricants and greases, but we also concentrate on how to innovate around services, so that we can help our customers better.