Raising the Bar in Sustainable Lubrication
Shankar Karnik, Asia Pacific Mobil SHC Brand Manager, ExxonMobil Lubricants Private Limited

The Indian lubricant market is the fifth largest market in the world in terms of consumption volume after the US, China, Russia and Japan. Growing personal disposal incomes, improvements in road infrastructure, increasing usage of automotive transportation, rural demand, growing industrial production and the support from government are some of the factors for the growth of Indian lubricants market, recent Ken Research reports.

Shankar Karnik, Asia Pacific Mobil SHC Brand Manager, ExxonMobil Lubricants Private Limited, on the sidelines of an international conference during his visit to Mumbai, emphasised on sustainability as one of the key global trends in the lubricant market.

On the growing front of Indian market, Shankar Karnik said India is a vibrant and emerging market. In the recent years, Indian lubricants market has experienced rapid growth and expansion of lubricant applications in the automotive and industrial sectors. Mobil Industrial Lubricants, a business of Exxon Mobil (Corporation) offers industrial lubricants that are used extensively in many industrial market sectors - including power generation, general manufacturing, metal working, food and beverage processing, pulp and paper, cement, construction, metals and mining. The Indian lubricant market is growing at a considerable CAGR rate and is likely to exceed USD 7713 million by 2017, which will be driven primarily by the surge in the domestic automotive sector.

Sustainability is the key word in the current market wherein the focus has been on saving the environment through various ways.In the current era of global warming; many organisations have adopted for green technology and thus have begun utilising products which emits less pollution. The introduction of such energy efficient products in the market is a beginning of saving environment.

ExxonMobil is one of the companies who have aggressively stepped into protecting the environment by inducting excellent energy efficient lubricant solutions.

Shankar Karnik on the current market trend mentioned, Sustainability as balancing the economic growth, social development and environmental protection, so that future generations do not suffer by actions taken today. We are committed to meet the world’s energy needs and address environmental and other citizenship challenges .It is not just our philosophy, but is a central to the way we do business.

He further added that ExxonMobil recognises the central role of technology and thus is a leader in technology research and development. With heavy investment Shankar Karnik Asia Pacific Mobil SHC Brand Manager ExxonMobil Pvt Ltd in research and development over the past years and employed over 16,000 scientists as well as engineers, ExxonMobil is responsible for some of the industry's most significant scientific and engineering breakthroughs. We are investigating technologies to support the critical role that energy will play in the decades to come and also technologies that will help supplement the core contribution.

An area of technology that is often overlooked in the oil and gas industry is that of lubricants and lubrication. Lubricants are the life blood of the rotating equipment that finds, produces, processes and transports the energy supplies on which we rely. Selecting high performance, technologically advanced lubricants help oil and gas explorers and producers meet and exceed production targets more safely and more efficiently, while offering many sustainability related benefits.

It is more important to spread the awareness for selecting appropriate lubricant by consumers for their desired equipments to safe guard and increase the productivity of the equipments. For example, a lubricant helps in maintaining the machine and safe guards the productivity of the equipments. Thus, any organisation needs to install the right kind of lubricant required by their equipment for higher productivity.

It was the biggest challenge tackled by ExxonMobil during their initial days in Indian market as ExxonMobil entered the Indian market after the de- regulation wherein education and awareness was scaled low in regards to lubricants and their uses. Karnik stressed that they had to work aggressively for developing awareness across industries about the importance of lubricants for equipments.

Optimising lubricant selection can provide significant performance benefits in a multitude of applications:
  1. Extends oil life
  2. Increases oil drain intervals - helping to reduce used oil generation and extend intervals between routine maintenance;
  3. Environment, Health, Safety - provides increased wear protection - helping to extend the reliability and life of critical equipment; and
  4. Enhances energy efficiency - helping to reduce operating costs.
Karnik expressed his concerns on the rising unorganised sector and considers them as the major counterfeits in the growing development. Thus, they have drafted effective communication with consumers and also implemented latest labelling techniques for brand verification aimed at reducing counterfeits. The communication barrier or broken communication has been the major problem for such counterfeits, laments Karnik. Thus, branding is playing important role in the market to introduce company's significant quality products.

Lubricant business model works cautiously on the social and environment front since they are aware of the vulnerability of waste disposal of oil.

Shankar Karnik explained the importance of energy efficient lubricants in the meeting of Worlds Energy Needs wherein he stated that by using energy more effectively through new technologies and new practices, we can displace demand on a significant scale. Selecting right lubricants for their energy efficiency benefits the user in terms of operating costs. But it also supports the environmental goals of industry by helping reduce emissions growth.

Mobil Industrial Lubricants help to drive productivity higher and safely, while offering sustainability related benefits and helping to ensure businesses remain competitive over the long term. To sum up, global demand for energy is expected to increase by almost 30 percent by the year 2040. To meet the challenges presented by this demand increase, we will require more investment, more technology and more skill than ever before. Oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear and renewable supply sources will all be needed to meet the needs of the future.

Lubricant technology and lubrication services can play an extremely important role by helping to increase productivity safely, while offering sustainability related benefits.