By offering filter and oil together to the customer, we are in a way, offering a complete protection package that gives the customer, the confidence, says KD Sahni, Joint Managing Director, Elofic Industries. Excerpts from the interview.
Could you elaborate on your product range for the CE sector?
Everybody has the perception that Elofic exists only for automotive world. We are now also in construction equipment sector. To begin with, we are introducing only filters but we do make hydraulic oils, lubricating oils and greases. Filters and lubricants are complimentary products. We are suppliers to JCB and are in the final stages of discussion with other OEMs. Now we are introducing the product for the aftermarket in the construction equipment industry.
What would be the approximate market for filters in India?
It´s impossible to say. In the construction equipment sector, there is not much of menace from spurious products. But in the automotive segment, spurious products could be pegged at anything from 60 to 300 per cent. However, a rough estimate as far as the organised sector is concerned, would put it at about Rs 10,000 crore.
Do you think that filters have a major role to play in Indian conditions?
Yes, we have a dusty atmosphere in most places in India, particularly in mining areas. So of course, where relatively expensive equipment is in use, the importance of filters really goes up; those who have invested huge amounts in equipment do not want any downtime, of course.
Is there a good demand for filters in India?
The demand in the aftermarket is growing. We are the first in India to set up filter manufacturing. We have five plants, three in Faridabad, one in Hosur, and one in Nalagarh for filters and oil. The filter business as such is growing, and we have a very good share of the OE and exports. The recession in the OEM segments has not really affected us because the other segments like the aftermarket and exports are doing well. Elofic has been growing at 20 per cent every year.
How green is your product range?
Elofic has been propagating the green cause. Recently, we revamped our logo with green dots. We have several in-house processes before the product is manufactured. First of all, the the filters themselves contribute towards controlling the environment pollution. One of the reasons for the engine to be polluting the air is the presence of an improper filter. The products we manufacture are environment-friendly and mostly metal-free. So the disposal of these products is much easier; they can simply be incinerated.
What is your sustenance strategy in difficult conditions?
The market situation is fluctuating. Sometimes the OE segment is a booming one and sometimes not. We keep ourselves insulated from all these fluctuations. Ideally we have a share of 40 per cent in aftermarket, 30 per cent in exports and 30 per cent in OEMs. If we keep this, then we have the overall balance.
What is the share you are aiming at in the CE market?
Elofic has invested in equipment to manufacture filter components in-house which most of the other competitors don´t have. So overall, we are aiming at about 20 per cent market share in about a couple of years and then accordingly, we will fine tune the strategies and take it further.
Our plan is to be a significant player in this industry; there are a lot of products which are being imported and our endeavour would be to produce the same, and supply them in India, thus saving on foreign exchange.
What is the current status of dealers and distribution network?
We will be appointing distributors shortly all across the country and we have a very strong marketing network. We have 15 offices-cum-warehouse across the country and each of those has business managers who would further the business with the distributors. So within the next six months, we intend to finalise the distributors.
What are your future plans?
We want to offer the customers a complete engine protection package where filters and oil are replaced simultaneously. By offering filter and oil together to the customer, we are in a way, offering the complete protection package and that gives him a lot of confidence and assurance that his equipment is well-protected.