Indian market favors alternative fuels in fully electric shift: Sandeep Kalia, MD, Valvoline Cummins – LSB

5 Min Read

In an exclusive interview with Sandeep Kalia, Managing Director, Valvoline Cummins, we discuss the dynamic landscape of the commercial vehicle industry, navigating through the currents of innovation, sustainability and global trends. Kalia shares the company’s vision, addressing industry transformation, sustainability initiatives and their commitment to social welfare. From groundbreaking lubricants to promising energy efficiency, the impactful scholarship program opens the conversation about how Valvoline Cummins is not only driving technological progress but also leading to a more sustainable and socially responsible future.

What is your vision for the future of the industry in terms of innovation, sustainability and global trends?

For the commercial vehicle industry, the game plan seems to be changing based on data released by various researchers and departments. While electrification is gaining traction globally, the Indian market may witness a different scenario, possibly shifting towards alternative fuels rather than a complete shift to electric vehicles (EVs).

To talk about the sustainability aspect, the government has introduced various regulations including the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for plastics. The latest addition to these guidelines is the requirement for lubricant manufacturers to include 5 percent recycled base stock in their production from 1 April 2024.

Our focus on sustainability extends beyond business practices. Initiatives like the Muskan Scholarship Program demonstrate our commitment to giving back to society. With approximately 2,400 students benefiting from the scholarship, the program specifically supports those involved in the trucking industry, such as mechanics and drivers.

Amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we noticed a common concern in this community – job loss affecting children’s education. In response, we, in collaboration with an NGO, started an effort to fund the education of 1,000 children annually. Over the past two years, more than 50 percent of beneficiaries have been girl children, reflecting our commitment to inclusive support.

Are there any new initiatives that Valvoline Cummins is currently working on or planning to launch soon?

Here we are very proud to recently introduce a few products in the country, specially tailored for motorcycle enthusiasts. One of our standout offerings presents a strong value proposition with an impressive 8 percent fuel efficiency increase. This becomes particularly significant as we have seen petrol and diesel prices reach the triple-digit mark in the last two years, putting a considerable burden on common bikers and commuters.

Our breakthrough technology leads the Motorcycle Oil (MCO) segment, offering a unique chemistry that delivers an 8 percent improvement in fuel efficiency. This is equivalent to getting free fuel every 8th or 9th day, or a full month of complementary fuel a year.

This compelling value proposition is designed to reduce the financial burden on consumers. Likewise, we extend a comparable offer to the community of passenger car owners. Recognizing the common dilemma during service inspections about switching to synthetic oil, where cost is often a deciding factor, we launched a campaign aimed at simplifying this decision-making process.

Our approach ensures that we don’t burden your pocket. We want your car to experience the best oil, and thus, we offer fully synthetic oils at a cost almost equivalent to mineral oil. These two distinct propositions in the individual segment demonstrate our commitment to innovation and provide compelling reasons for any consumer to choose Valvoline Cummins.

What advice would you give to young professionals aspiring to succeed in the automotive industry?

I believe that consumers are the smartest on the street; They want value for every product. We strive to put the consumer at the center of product development, product line and marketing proposition. The key question is: “Why should I pay extra and what’s in it for me?” Our innovation journey in the country has consistently revolved around focusing on the consumer. We aim to offer something unique without burdening their pockets, avoiding the need to convince them why we need more money.

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