GS Caltex has completed 10 years in India, how has the journey been so far in terms of market response to your products and what are the growth prospects?
GS Caltex, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, is a leader in the petroleum, lubricant and petrochemical businesses. It was founded in 1967, as a 50-50 joint venture between GS Energy, South Korea and Chevron Corporation, USA. It operates the fourth largest refinery in the world and is the largest producer of aromatics products globally. The company is a major exporter of petroleum products including lubricants. Building on this competitiveness the company decided to venture into large overseas markets like India, Russia, China and many other countries. The Indian subsidiary was established in Mumbai, India on February 2, 2010.

Indian lubricant market is one of the most competitive and toughest markets in the world. For a relatively young company like ours, we have managed to make our own place in the Indian lubricant industry on the strength of our superior technology and products. In fact, we might be the only company in India to manufacture high quality premium lubricants using only group II plus/group III base oils imported from our own refinery.

However, we understand that the growth momentum has been little subdued in the last year. We can certainly not be insulated from the market or OEMs when economy conditions are challenging. We at GS Caltex at the same time had been exploring new territories within India and overseas. Therefore we were able to make up for tough conditions in domestic market with new accounts and markets within India and overseas market through exports. We ended the 2019 on a happy note.

When it comes to lubricants, what are some of the key parameters to look at before making the right choice?
Customers now demand products that would reduce their down-time and thus reduce the cost of ownership. The high-performance lubricants from GS Caltex offer ultimate reliability at all temperatures, lower oil consumption, significantly lower fuel consumption and specifically extended service intervals. Whenever engines run freer and more reliably, operating costs are lower if only because they consume less; just one per cent lower fuel consumption means, depending on operating conditions, fuel savings of several thousand rupees per vehicle per year. Every penny saved is penny earned; our constant effort to help our customers to reduce the cost of ownership has been highly appreciated and has helped us grow.

Given your vast product portfolio, which range of products has been more successful and commercially viable?
We have a wide array of products to cater to the ever-growing demand of cutting edge products from our customers. We have seen phenomenal growth especially in the automobile segment. GS Caltex believes in offering lubrication solutions rather than products alone as it is the combination of products and scientific recommendation, service based on a customer’s specific needs that best help to meet customer’s requirements in a holistic manner. Hence we have been quite successful not only growing in the business but also in increasing the brand awareness and penetration across segments in OEM, industrial, infrastructure and retail.

What kind of alliances do you have?
GS Caltex and Chevron have significant presence in OEMs globally. It helped us to develop relationships with global OEM’s from our initial days in India. We have always worked as a solution provider to our OEM partners rather than being just a supplier. Our relationship with OEMs since inception has helped to challenge our boundaries and meet high standards expected of us from OEMs. In the last decade, we have built strong partnerships with global OEM’s viz. Volvo, Hyundai, Ajax, Amman, Doosan, Kolher etc.

How much focus is given to technological innovation for development of new products for the future?
Research and Development is the core strength of GS Caltex in developing product competitiveness for lubricants and polymers. GSC R&D facility located near Seoul in South Korea has developed many award-winning lubricants to forge partnerships with major global OEMs. Our future ready product portfolio is a major dimension of our growth strategy.

At Excon 2019, GS Caltex India showcased its futuristic portfolio meeting BSVI standards which includes BS VI compatible engine oils Kixx HDX Euro CK-4 15W-40, long life high performance hydraulic oils Kixx HVL range and high performance fully synthetic gear oil Kixx GearSyn GL-5 75W-90. Recently, we have also launched our polymer product portfolio in India. GS Caltex India will continue to invest in new technologies and superior products catering to existing and new segments with the objective of adding value to our customers and stakeholders.

Rajesh Nagar, MD & CEO, GS Caltex India

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