Maharashtra based startup’s Made in India synthetic engine oil reduces vehicle emission, improves engine performance, and increases savings for customers.
Is Technology Necessarily Evil?
If we think of the most revolutionary inventions by humans that changed our lives forever, Computers and Internal Combustion Engine are bound to be there. True, they have simplified our lives manifold and have decreased the mundane human efforts. But they’ve also lead to rampant issues that we are currently facing.
Transport emissions – which primarily involve road, rail, air and marine transportation – accounted for over 24% of global CO2 emissions in 2016. They’re also expected to grow at a faster rate than emissions from any other sector. (Info Source)
Vehicles and Engines are here to stay. Public transport like buses and boats, and vehicles running on alternate fuels like electricity, hydrogen, biomass, all necessarily contain an engine. Since we can’t practically go back to the old ages and eliminate vehicles from our lives, the next best alternative is to minimise the emissions that they cause.
Maharashtra based Imperial Lubricants (TIL) has taken up this daunting task with its revolutionary up to 100% synthetic engine oil that cuts Carbon Emission and ensures optimum engine health at an affordable price.
Improving a Malfunctioning Engine
The idea for the startup struck with an unfortunate car breakdown during a car journey back in 2013. The engine had stalled and seized due to a recent change of engine oil that turned out to be of substandard quality. Family friends Apurv Dey and Swapnil Shah took it upon themselves to find a solution to the issue of inferior grade oils being used for engines.
With over 35 years of business expertise in the oil and lubricants business, they undertook extensive R&D. This phase spanned over 3 years with the interplay of the in-house lab along with collaborations with various college and government labs.
Foreign players heavily dominate the engine oil market in India and the duo wanted to change that. Also, there was scope to reduce the pollutants emitted by vehicles if their engines are running on high-quality engine oils. Thus, with the aim to build a Made in India company and reduce carbon footprint with their efforts, The Imperial Lubricants was established in 2016.
The team comprises of about 30 members with its factory in Nagpur and offices spanning across Maharashtra, Goa, Odisha, and Karnataka. They’re building their distribution network offline and online across India. They’re also in talks with Singapore, Australia, Ghana and Nigeria to export their products to these destinations.
What Makes Their Engine Oil Superior?
Imperial Lubricant’s Engine Oil truly revolutionary with their multifaceted benefits. Its Engine oil is up to 100% synthetic i.e. made in labs rather than from crude mineral oil. This offers higher protection to the engine and higher savings for the customer in multiple ways.
It also increases the drainage interval i.e. time required between changing of engine oil. For 2 wheelers, it increased from the default 1,500/2,000 KMs to 8,000 to 12,000 KMs (in ideal conditions) for some users. For 4 wheelers, it increased from the default 10,000 KMs to 25,000 Kms (in ideal conditions) for some users.
Apart from lesser emissions, the used engine oil can be decomposed with hot water. This is a stellar feature that sets it apart from its competitors. By default, used engine oil causes problems during disposal as they’re non-biodegradable and thus pollute the surroundings where they’re dumped.
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Moreover, the engine oils have been made for BS6 (Bharat Stage 6: Indian vehicle emission standards) that was introduced in India a while back. They’re also compliant with previous BS and Euro versions as well.
To top it all, their products cost 50-60% less compared to the products offered by their competitors. This is a critical aspect of the price-driven Indian market.
The Imperial Lubricants has also won awards and accolades at national and international level competitions. It has also received recognition for the MSME Ministry, Government of India.
Here are some stats that estimate the savings that different category of vehicle users can expect:
|Base||Fully Synthetic||Fully Synthetic||Fully Synthetic||Fully Synthetic||Synthetic||Synthetic|
|Application||Bike||Bike||Car||Car||Heavy Commercial Vehicle||Heavy Commercial Vehicle|
|Oil Change required after(Kms)||12,000||5,000||25,000||10,000||80,000||40,000|
|Durability (Avg. run per Months: 1,250kms)(days)||9.6||4||20||8||13.3||6.6|
|Mileage Increment(Kmpl)||Up to 5km||NA||Up to 2KM||NA||Up to 0.5||NA|
|Power Increment(%)||Up to 17%||NA||Up to 28%||NA||Up to 25%||NA|
|Pollution Reduction(%)||Up to 30%||NA||Up to 35%||NA||Up to 33%||NA|
|Price(Rs)||599||Up to 1500||549||Up to 1,250||599||Up to 1,200|
|Cost of Annual Oil Change(Rs)||700||5,877||1,647||9,375||10,000||21,600|
|Saving on Annual Oil Change(Rs)||5177||7,728||11,600|
|Annual Mileage Cost Saved(Rs)||2,833||10,000||98,250|
|Total Annual Saving(Rs)||8,010||17,728||1,09,850|
With so many benefits for the customer, the team has received phenomenal feedback from the users. Be it two-wheelers, cars or large trucks, everyone has observed better performance and more savings when they used The Imperial Lubricant’s (TIL) engine oils.
Manoeuvring The Obstacles
One of the significant challenges that the startup faces is customer unawareness. They believe that the customer should know what is ideal for the engine, environment and pocket. Vehicle users suffer at the most unexpected of time and place in the form of engine malfunction or failure. This is primarily due to malpractices like mixing of used engine oil, adulteration with water, etc. Being a new player, mass media advertising wasn’t feasible for them.
Another critical issue has been of bringing about a behavioural change. Customers have an inclination towards using the dominant foreign brands over an emergent, indigenous company. Moreover, users owning high-end cars are more reluctant to make the switch fearing any damage to the engine which could burn a huge hole in the pocket.
However, with its quality offerings, The Imperial Lubricants is steadily winning over customers. Additionally, the team is using the following strategies to increase its visibility and brand value:
- Sponsoring Riders and Drivers Rider Groups and arrange awareness camps.
- Creating Youtube Channels for Audience Engagement and Advertisement.
- Free Sample Distribution and Online Selling.
- Focus on High Customer Satisfaction and Awareness
The users are so satisfied after using their products that they refer the same to their network thus becoming brand ambassadors themselves. Thus, the team is able to sustainably make new customers and retain the old ones.
The Road to Atmanirbharta
Apurv Dey and Swapnil Shah believe that the journey of a startup is akin to a roller coaster ride. The crests and troughs are a test of one’s character. But if your motive and heart are in the right place, then the ethical path will guide you towards your goal.
With the vision of seeing their engine oil being used in every vehicle in India, the team is working relentlessly to realise its goals. With their efforts, they seek to create a positive effect on the environment and build an Indian brand that makes us Atmanirbhar to compete with foreign players. Such innovations and efforts are bound to make everyone sit up and take notice, thus providing a roadmap worth emulating.
Article by Subhav Duggal, Team ulaunch