Global Mindset. Indian Roots.

Sumanta Ghosh, AGM Sales - OEM & Exports, Valvoline Cummins
Various Paradigms of Indian Lubricant Market
28 October 2013
Sumanta Ghosh, AGM Sales - OEM & Exports, Valvoline Cummins

Mr. Ghosh is associated with Valvoline Cummins Limited as AGM sales where he is responsible to drive OEM sales and operations for a PAN India responsibility with team of sales executives. He has more than thirteen years of experience in sales/marketing/business development in lubricant sector. Mr. Ghosh is a proven leader in the Indian lubricant industry where he has witnessed all facets of petroleum based lubricant business. As a part of Industry thought leaders series he visited Great Lakes Gurgaon campus to make Great Lakers aware about various paradigms of Indian lubricant market.


After a thorough lecture on Indian lubricant industry and the market drivers he discussed about the bright prospects of lubricant business which is witnessing tremendous growth due to increase in automobiles and industrial units. He threw some light on the various turmoil faced by lubricant industries in the past as a result of events such as the Great depression, reforms, independence struggle and License Raj. The Indian lubricant industry can be broadly classified into two segments-automotive lubricants and industrial lubricants, with automotive lubricants accounting for over 60% of the total lubricant market. The strategy of Indian automotive lubricant segment is shifting from the sales push i.e. commodity type marketing strategy to a brand pull, FMCG product type of marketing strategy where brand name, prices, accessibility and services offered play major role. He stressed upon the growing demand for environmental regulations and oil conservation to mitigate the effects of climate change in the Indian perspective. Students discussed about Valvoline’s future strategies to meet the OEM needs as innovations are happening at much faster rate than before resulting in higher investments by lubricant industries on R&D.


As India is world’s third largest lubricant market, lots of major players are strategizing their business models to cater the diversified Indian market. Mr. Ghosh explained how the untouched semi urban and rural market is poised for growth and how brand positioning and customer relationship management is going to be the game changer for companies who are willing to grab the opportunity.


Major strategies to maintain competitive edge highlighted by Mr. Ghosh

Ø  Use of Bazzar trade

Ø  Leveraging technical strength and product development capabilities by working closely with global OEMs.

Ø  Working closely with mechanics who play a major role in decision making in B2C environment.

Ø  Expanding reach to areas of India which are not properly catered. 

The growth of this industry comes with few bottlenecks too like vehicles going for longer oil drain intervals, volatile raw material prices, and aggressive foray by oil PSUs into bazaar trade. Lots of OEMs are introducing their own brands and it poses huge threat for lubricant companies which had previously partnered with them. The lecture was ended by real world solutions in terms of sales strategies and vision for the next decade to tackle disruptions. Overall the lecture provided lots of industry oriented strategies and concerns being faced which will help students analyze the market structure better.


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