Vikas Kapur, AVP, Valvoline Cummins
We are working on engine oil and gear oil applications that will give better fuel efficiency on an overall basis, says Vikas Kapur, AVP, Valvoline Cummins. Excerpts of the interview.
How do you view the current industry trend?
The construction industry is going through one of its worst slumps. At such times, nobody looks at new investment. Then again, infrastructure is the lifeline and if we don't invest in our infrastructure, we will see a similar slump in the future, too.
What opportunities do you see in the current market conditions?
Construction and mining still need products which can help them with up-time, bearer efficiency and support on the ground in terms of bearer distribution and training of people on how to handle lubricants. As an organisation, we are working on these and we have actually been growing in construction and mining in the last three years. We believe that the package that we have in place will keep on growing despite the slump.
What are the innovations to be found in your product range?
We are working on engine oil and gear oil applications together giving better fuel efficiency overall. So we are ready with those packages and right now we are doing field trials on them. We are launching a product which is a solution provider for coolant leakages.
We have launched a product which has a better detergency and dispersancy, even if the soot formation is high with the emission gas recirculation (EGR) products. The EGR engine has more soot formation; this product is able to handle the soot better. That means the engine will run clean, be less hot than the normal engine which has more soot inside and in the end, will have a better engine life.
What is the ideal drain-out time for lubricants used in construction equipment?
As a lubricant company, we always recommend an established drain interval. We work with experts and try to establish an extended drain interval. We are working with many OEMs now on lubricant technology which will give them an extended drain interval.
What do you have to offer hydraulic equipment working in extreme climatic conditions?
We have products on extra high viscosity index (EHVI) in hydraulics which has a better viscosity index. These products maintain their viscosity even at high temperatures. We have already launched this range and it is doing well in the industry.
What is the market share for Valvoline in this segment?
That is difficult to say because this segment depends on how many projects are on or off. The other thing is there are accessible markets and inaccessible markets. Some of the markets are not accessible to multinationals per se and from that angle, I would say we have a very decent market share and we have worked with big customers.
How compliant are your products with the emission norms?
We are a multinational company operating in Europe and the US, where the Euro 4 emission norms are existing; in Russia, the norms are much stricter than in India. We have that technology already available.
What are your growth plans?
We inaugurated our manufacturing plant in May 2013 at Ambernath in Maharashtra. This plant has a 120 million litre annual capacity. This is the most modern plant in India today by any lubricant manufacturer. We are growing in all the segments; we want to grow in our focus segments in particular.