Are We Really Free Country?

Here is my write up during last Commonwealth games(on facebook). The topic is different and out of my domain but from the depth of my heart.

We really feel proud looking at number of medals our sports person are winning at Commonwealth games. But for me, the word “commonwealth’ is hurting, and this feeling is much stronger than the feeling of proud about gold medals.

I don’t know why India is still a member of association of 53 countries which were once governed by Britishers. Are we really free country? We are democratic country governed by elected government, but are we still under influence of British? We as Indian feel proud of following or influenced by western style in our clothing, technology, education etc. These 53 countries includes Australia, Newzealnad, Canada,S.Africa have 30%of world population, and formal head of Commonwealth is still Quin Elizabeth-II. This shows how strong was the small country England was to rule over one third of population of glob. They were smart enough to replace or influence our 5000 year old civilization in just 350 years.
Purpose of this association is not much different than purpose of SARC. Than why should we be part of Commonwealth countries. Commonwealth word itself gives a hard feeling that we r still wealth of British monarchy.

USA was also ruled by British for years. Why they are not part of Commonwealth? I came to know from sources like Wikipedia that states of America fought bloody war to kick Britishers out and that’s why they were not made part of Commonwealth. Whereas in other countries shifting of power was smoother. How funny!! Doesn’t it mean that Britisher made member of Commonwealth to those country that can be handled by them.USA is still a friend nation of UK but not part of commonwealth. USA has become superpower and stronger than Britain, may be because of their independence by all means.

Isn’t it a time again to be super power? If,yes,than small actions like removing “Commonwealth” tag will be a small yet important step.

low section of man against sky

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Before You Start Your Own Business

I belong to the special of group of people, who were employed for many years, thinking about starting own business and finally started own business. Very often I am asked a question, How do you feel now, after having your own business? what is better job or business? or get comments “that’s great! you are doing your business now, you are happy. I have answered most of this curious questions, but back of the mind some where I have listed few points about who can do business? what do you need to start a business? What do you expect out of business? Does it take you closer to aim of your life? and many more.

What is better – Job or Business?

This is the question I am asked very frequently, by those who find difficult to choose between Job and business. My answer to this question is both are good, you need to find out what will you enjoy most. One may compare a job and business on parameters like earnings, security, future prospects, Freedom etc. Lets see all this parameters in both options one by one.

table

Above table may confuse you. you will not be clear if one should business or continue with job after going or believing in information in above table.Actually, all these parameters are secondary. Most important thing that you need before you start business is “The Burning Desire” to succeed in your own business.

So this gives answer to one of most common question that arises before you start business i.e.

What do you need to start your own business?

Capital, Idea, manpower,knowledge, experience are important thing that you need to start business,but most important thing as described above is “The Burning Desire”. Other non material things you need are – believing- your self,your dream, a well thought business idea and patience to get desired result.

start your business

Dream – To start any business you need to have a dream. Dream of successful business model. Dreaming is to some extent is natural (may start from your inner feeling). Clearer the dream, easier the path to success. So be clear what is your dream actually.

Burning Desire – you will find lot of literature on power of your strong desire. People have lot many dreams related to success, business, relationship, money etc. but not all dreams are backed by “burning desire” to full fill these dreams. You need to check if your business dream is backed by burning desire. Be alert, some time dream regarding business comes out of things like bore dome or temporary failure in job. Some times people think to start business as they find difficult to move ahead with job. A house wife may think she is free with her house work now, and she doesn’t have anything to do and think to start business. These are not dreams or dreams those are not backed by strong desire. Do the business only if you find that its your passion. Don’t start business as there is no comfort in your current work.

Documenting Business Ideas & Plans – There are thousands of ideas that comes and goes out of mind every day. Not all ideas are valuable business idea. To get more clarity on idea, you should write down your business idea along with plan to start & run said business. This should start with business idea and end with proposed financial performance.I have seen people discussing different business ideas (often inspired by other’s success) for years and can not start business. I don’t say that there ideas were not worth implementing,but they lack to relate it to their strength & passion.

Know your Strength & Weakness- Ideas those are inspired by other’s success need to be checked if they are good for you depending on your strength & weakness. Some one may earn millions with simple business ideas, even then it may not be good for you as it may not your cup of tea. Eg. If some one is earning a lot money by selling tea from a road side stall, this simple idea may not be suitable for you as you might feel odd to stand and serve on road after doing a blue collar job. So, think about your strength and think about business idea which is in your favorite zone. Remember, matches are easily won on home pitches.

Source All Required Things- List down the things you required like capital, land & building, manpower, raw material etc. find out best source from where you can get all this material. You can include it in to your document of business plan.

Set Business Process – Also decide and write down operational plan so that you will have more clarity on type of manpower and other resources you may require.

These are the things that one should do before Launching Business.


So, this is my thoughts for those who is thinking about their own business. This is an extract of my thoughts and discussions with some of business people. I am not a management professional or inspirational writer, as stated this has come out of experience of my self & others. Do let me know your comments.

ALL THE BEST to you.


Distribution Channel for Lubricants – Part- II

After my previous blog on same subject, I received number of phone calls and messages to discuss on the subject. As I stated in the beginning of previous blog, this is just noting down how the pattern of distribution channel is changing, and why these changes were required. Here, again I am putting some more information after discussing this with my seniors and my friends in Lubricant industry in India.  Few more distribution channel and its effectiveness are being discussed here, these are more of  non conventional type of distribution channel.

Exclusive Shoppe :

Exclusive shoppe concept was introduced around 12-15 years back. This was effective for few years but could not last for longer period. Here I would like to note down that major visible exclusive shoppe was introduced by Valvoline (in private sector) and Servo (among PSUs). Purpose(in my view) for both these companies were different, it was purely brand image improvement for IOC with an additional channel for sales. Whereas, than upcoming brand choose this way to increase their reach to markets  where they were not available or sales were low compare to potentiality of that market. Valvoline has started these shoppe with quality branding, with end in mind. They wish to exit market after establishing strong market presence and getting sizable distributor in that market. They were successful in many markets yet they had to shutdown few shoppe due to losses. Most of these losses were not due to  low volumes, but because of bad debts. This shoppe concept can be made more sustainable with some innovation in operation.

Bike Points & Car Points :

Leaders in lubricant industry again lead industry to this new concept almost a decade back. Castrol started bike points on two level, one through Franchisee model and other through Non- OE garages. This was promptly, followed by all leading private lube companies. This was initially, new channel to sale directly to service stations with great scope of branding. But now, due to high competition, demands/bargaining power from such service stations have zoomed up. Mid & small sized non-franchisee model is still operative and provides opportunity to by pass competition at retail out lets. Similarly, few companies also set Car point and tractor points as well.

Distributor turned manufacturer:

In last 5 years or so, this new trend is seen. Many big distributor of reputed companies launching their own brands. Few of them has invested in plants whereas others have gone for toll blending. Many new plants was started during this period and their major revenue comes from such new batch of manufacturer/ marketers. Mostly, this kind of small companies are working in their own market and not having dream to go nation wide. These are small marketers & their volumes are ranging from 2 KL to 25 KL a  month. Low base oil prices has provided them a huge opportunity to survive even with lower volumes. However, with government actions like demonetization and introduction of GST has lowered their margin and have proven big obstacle to this comparatively less organised part of lubricant industry. But with all these adversities,  this section is going to be indirect competition to many big companies as these distributors are those who have burnt their fingers in distribution business. And now these people are preferring to push their own brand instead of brands owned by big companies.

OEM channels

In last few years even small OEMs have also gone for their own brand of lubricant and distributed it through their own dealers. A decade back big OEMs like TATA, Leyland, Cummins, kirloskar, JCB and other earth movie equipment manufacturer was available with their own brand, but now even small manufacturer of pump set or mini tractor have their own brand. Many small OEMs in industrial segment has also introduce their genuine oils eg. electronica is leading wire cut machine has tie up for EDM oils with one of oil company.

Yet to see new channels

If we see towards developed market of US or Europe, we will see few options like “Quick Oil Change” where customer get prompt services for oil change. These are mostly, a franchisee model and exclusive for particular lubricant brand. In India, we have recently, seen few quick car wash but they either don’t offer “oil change service” or even if they offer this service its not their primary focus. mobil Oil changeUntitled

Service at Your doorstep :

This days we have seen few operators who provided servicing with oil change for 2- wheeler and cars at customer’s home or workplace. This is seen in metros as well as some big cities. These service providers are small players compare to “quick oil change” workshops available in developed countries, but these could be batter manged and become Indian version of “Quick Oil Change” model. Currently, there are very few service provider who have been stable in this business as they have many challenges from finance to manpower.

History Repeats….

In past Indian lubricant market has been dominated by PSUs through their Fuel pumps. This was before 1991 when Indian market were made open for foreign players. At that time, they were dominating because of less competition. But, few years back we have seen success of “R Connect” of Reliance Petroleum(“R Connect”were the retail chain of reliance that sold products required by fleet operators. They marketed Tyre, Lubricant, filters and auto parts). Even though, the success of this channel were for very short period, they have to shutdown “R Connect” due to government policies in fuel retailing policies. But in current political conditions subsidies are being reduced and further policy change may favor private players in this segment. And success of “R connect” type of operation may be repeated. On other hand service level at retail out let of PSUs are also improving and they may also start similar kind of retail out let that can push their lubricant products to commercial vehicle segment.

Need Some thing new

Businesses need innovations in products, promotions etc., same way we need to think something new about distribution channel. One need to think about the distribution pattern that can make a lubricant company different in crowded market place.

That’s all for now.. waiting for your comments and suggestions. you can also mail me on ajit_guruji@yahoo.com

                   

Distribution channel for Lubricants

Today I thought to write about distribution channel of lubricant and its evolution. Yes, you are right, its nothing great to write about that, but I am just noting it down to understand from where we started and where we have come & why those changes were required. This will help us to discuss and find new way of distribution channel.

Typical Distribution channel for lubricant product in India. –

The old and still prevailing distribution channel for  lubricant products is shown in flow chart shown bellow.Dist.channelGenerally, goods flow from manufacturer to their own depot or carrying & Forwarding Agents (CFA) in different geographical location. From there it is sold to direct customers such as big industries or government institutes or to the distributors. Distributors sell it to either retailers, service station or end users (mid size fleet owners or industries). These retailers or services station sell products to end users generally individuals. Here, mechanics plays his role as influencer in some cases. He recommend products to his customer who purchases it from retailers.

This is a time proven distribution channel. Even today most mid size and small companies are following same pattern of distribution channel. But with increasing competition price war has increased and thus many companies and channel partners started to cut this channel.  Many companies increased there business through direct channels, few distributors started selling to even small mechanics and gave them more share of profit instead of being just influencers. And more elaborated channel looks like…

adv.dist.channel

as you can see the distribution network became more complex and efforts were made to cut length of chain. This happened around 2002-2005, where yet many companies were entering in market, market was expanding. For some new comers , cutting channel was essential as they were not getting entry at distributor of retail level. At the same time, few MNCs operated direct distribution channel and were selling to retailers in metros like Mumbai, Pune. This new move has increased market share of new comers and old giants were worried as they were not growing if not shrinking. End users hesitantly started trying new products from competitively new companies.

In this scenario, leaders were pushed to think about new techniques to retain there leading position. And thus, companies like  castrol came out with rural sub-distributors, followed by Gulf Oil. These companies tied-up mostly with leading retail out let in smaller town and gave them small areas to distribute their products. It was a success and gave good growth for few years at least.

At the secondary level, distributor has to start direct supply to mid size mechanics to by pass leading retailers who were not co operative to new comers or struggling companies. At present a big portion of 2-wheeler and car mechanics specially in urban market has started buying directly from distributors. Thus, focused was to cut distribution channel not only to fight price war but also to cross hurdles in distribution channel.

New distribution Channel that Failed…….

For industries like FMCG there were a huge change as malls came up in first decade of 21st century. Almost all urban FMCG distributor faced problem as number of small retailers were shutdown because of huge discounting from new big malls. Few lubricant companies has also tried to use this retail revolution, but none of them can do remarkable business despite giving huge discounts to this modern trade partners. The reason I feel was that Indian customer is unaware of DIY (do it your self) concept and till date enjoys services from mechanics or retailers.

Second revolution was online marketers. Traditional distributors & retailers in Garment, white goods, footwear industries were badly effected by this online trend but yet again, Lubricants could not be sold by this channel. Number of lubricants  are available on leading online stores like Amazon & flip kart but not getting reasonable volumes.  But this internet revolutions made B2b business more competitive as industrial users get more competitive suppliers through websites like IndiaMart and Tradeindia. For the companies offering specialty products are now able to advertise their product through social media marketing to their target customers, which otherwise were out of their reach.

I think this is enough for now… I am waiting for your comments and discussions and we will continue to find out ways and means to increase distribution & sales in coming years…

you can also mail me at ajit_guruji@yahoo.com.

Distribution channel for Lubricants

Today I thought to write about distribution channel of lubricant and its evolution. Yes, you are right, its nothing great to write about that, but I am just noting it down to understand from where we started and where we have come & why those changes were required. This will help us to discuss and find new way of distribution channel.

Typical Distribution channel for lubricant product in India. –

The old and still prevailing distribution channel for  lubricant products is shown in flow chart shown bellow.Dist.channelGenerally, goods flow from manufacturer to their own depot or carrying & Forwarding Agents (CFA) in different geographical location. From there it is sold to direct customers such as big industries or government institutes or to the distributors. Distributors sell it to either retailers, service station or end users (mid size fleet owners or industries). These retailers or services station sell products to end users generally individuals. Here, mechanics plays his role as influencer in some cases. He recommend products to his customer who purchases it from retailers.

This is a time proven distribution channel. Even today most mid size and small companies are following same pattern of distribution channel. But with increasing competition price war has increased and thus many companies and channel partners started to cut this channel.  Many companies increased there business through direct channels, few distributors started selling to even small mechanics and gave them more share of profit instead of being just influencers. And more elaborated channel looks like…

adv.dist.channel

as you can see the distribution network became more complex and efforts were made to cut length of chain. This happened around 2002-2005, where yet many companies were entering in market, market was expanding. For some new comers , cutting channel was essential as they were not getting entry at distributor of retail level. At the same time, few MNCs operated direct distribution channel and were selling to retailers in metros like Mumbai, Pune. This new move has increased market share of new comers and old giants were worried as they were not growing if not shrinking. End users hesitantly started trying new products from competitively new companies.

In this scenario, leaders were pushed to think about new techniques to retain there leading position. And thus, companies like  castrol came out with rural sub-distributors, followed by Gulf Oil. These companies tied-up mostly with leading retail out let in smaller town and gave them small areas to distribute their products. It was a success and gave good growth for few years at least.

At the secondary level, distributor has to start direct supply to mid size mechanics to by pass leading retailers who were not co operative to new comers or struggling companies. At present a big portion of 2-wheeler and car mechanics specially in urban market has started buying directly from distributors. Thus, focused was to cut distribution channel not only to fight price war but also to cross hurdles in distribution channel.

New distribution Channel that Failed…….

For industries like FMCG there were a huge change as malls came up in first decade of 21st century. Almost all urban FMCG distributor faced problem as number of small retailers were shutdown because of huge discounting from new big malls. Few lubricant companies has also tried to use this retail revolution, but none of them can do remarkable business despite giving huge discounts to this modern trade partners. The reason I feel was that Indian customer is unaware of DIY (do it your self) concept and till date enjoys services from mechanics or retailers.

Second revolution was online marketers. Traditional distributors & retailers in Garment, white goods, footwear industries were badly effected by this online trend but yet again, Lubricants could not be sold by this channel. Number of lubricants  are available on leading online stores like Amazon & flip kart but not getting reasonable volumes.  But this internet revolutions made B2b business more competitive as industrial users get more competitive suppliers through websites like IndiaMart and Tradeindia. For the companies offering specialty products are now able to advertise their product through social media marketing to their target customers, which otherwise were out of their reach.

I think this is enough for now… I am waiting for your comments and discussions and we will continue to find out ways and means to increase distribution & sales in coming years…

you can also mail me at ajit_guruji@yahoo.com.

Recently, an upcoming company Arabian Petroleum Limited has entered in to agreement with Xado India Lubricant (Indian arm of Xado Chemical group- Ukrain). Arabian petroleum is upcoming lubricant company having presence in major parts of India and other 14 countries, having state of art manufacturing plant at Ambernath in Thane district. whereas, Xado has patented technology for lubricants and lubricant additives. Xado is present in 65 countries of world.

Now, after this technical tie up management of APL(Arabian Petroleum Ltd)has announced that they will launch new range of products that will be “First of its kind in India” which will have some magical performance. However, more detail of these products will be published soon. These products will hit market by end of September, just before pick season starts with beginning of agricultural season.

I wish team Arabian & Xado lubricants India all the very best

Leaflet-Xado-announcement

Semi-synthetic oil for Premium 4-stroke bikes

Purchase Fully synthetic Motor oil from ARZOL

 



Water in Oil – common but harmful

After a long time from my previous blog, I thought that in these rainy days, common problem is number of lubricants being mixed with water. Water is life, but a life destroyer in case of oil. Water or moisture enters in oil by different ways in different lubricants during operation. Few operations prone to develop moisture in oil where as in some cases water enters in oil accidentally. But in any of these circumstances, water is detrimental to any lubricant. Studies have shown that moisture in oil reduces life of a bearing by 10 to 100 times.

SOURCE OF WATER IN LUBRICANTS

  1. Condensation -Water can contaminate a system by condensation when moist air enters the component and a change in temperature causes the water to condense and drop into the oil. However, level of moisture by this means is too low(< 0.5%).
  2. Breathers – hot oil is prone to catch moisture from air through breathers. This type of cases occurs when there is high level of moisture in atmosphere(in monsoon season).
  3. Heat exchanger – cooling systems , heat exchangers to cool lubricant are major source of water in oil. Minor leakages allow cooling water to enter in oil.Such systems are common in hydraulic oils.
  4. Water jackets – some times whole lubricant sump has water jackets to cool oil (typically seen in quenching oils), leakages in such jackets are reason of water seepage in oil.
  5. Accidental reasons – water enters in oil while fighting fire in /around oil. while topping of oil in water jackets or tanks that cools oil.
  6. Miss-handling – we have seen that rainy water enters in big oil sumps due to carelessness of operators. In rare cases I have seen that while installing new tanks no body notices that there is some part of water in empty tank and fill it with fresh oil.

What is the real Harm?

Water in oil in any proportion is harmful to oil as well as machine. Water is poor lubricant and destroys oil film on moving parts and that increases wearing of such parts. In presence of water, oil gets oxidized very quickly while operating under high temperature and pressure. Water also attracts some of additives present in hydraulic oils that further degrades lubricants. Generally, oil prevents corrosion bearings and other parts of machine but water in oil does the exact opposite.

Three Forms of Water

1.Dissolved water refers to water that has been chemically absorbed into the oil. While dissolved water possesses no direct threat to the component being lubricated, its presence can serve as a catalyst to oxidation. Dissolved water is normally not visible in the oil.
2. Emulsified water is water that maintains its chemical integrity, but is held in suspension in the oil by additives and contaminants. Emulsified water will severely alter the load handling ability of the oil. When temperature and pressure are applied to a contaminated fluid, the oxidation process is significantly accelerated, leading to premature degradation. Internal corrosion and rust will also result in all areas of the system. When the oil has emulsified water, it will take on a
hazy or milky appearance.
3. Free water describes water that is present in the oil, but not held in suspension. Since oil and water don’t mix, the oil’s base stock will be constantly trying to separate from water. Without additives or contaminants to bond with the water, it will separate rapidly and settle to the bottom of the oil. Free water will be visible in the oil as a separate phase at the bottom of the oil reservoir.

TOLERANCE LIMIT OF WATER IN OIL

While different machine manufacturers set different tolerance limit of water in oil, most common limit is 500 ppm (0.05%). There systems for which the same limit is as low as 30 ppm mainly because of presence of some sensitive valves, sensors etc.

TEST TO KNOW MOISTURE LEVEL

Crackle test is most common test to know presence of moisture/water in oil. Though this test is very primary and not scientific as it doesn’t inform exact level of moisture, it is very simple to know if moisture is present in oil. In crackle test few drops of oil is put on hot plate. This sample will have bubbles or pops up if moisture is present in it. If crackle test is positive another test carried out with help of Karl Fischer to know exact amount of moisture/water in oil.

CONTROLLING WATER LEVEL

In systems which are prone to moisture, lubricant must have demulsifier in it. Turbine oil, vacuum oils must have such additives. Circulating systems prone to water influx, such as those found in rolling mills and power generation plants, can simply drain
the water from the reservoir to control contamination, provided the oil exhibits good
demulsibility. However, once water enters in to oil certain steps must be taken to remove it. Simple filtration systems, vacuum dehydration or centrifuge systems are effective way to remove water from oil.

Your remarks and suggestions are welcome by mail (ajit_guruji@yahoo.com) or in the comments. At the same time we can help you if you are facing such problem at your works.

Industrial oil filtration as on date, at most of the industries is a job handled at 11th hour. I mean, filtration is done (in most cases) after some brake down or at the point when lubricant is so degraded that it requires to be changed. Rather, oil filtration in industries should be part of their preventive maintenance. This will not only reduce down time of machines but also increase life of critical components of  machines. More than 70% machine failure is due to fault in lubricants.

INDICATION OF NEED TO FILTER LUBRICANTS:

What is the right time to get your oil filter? Certainly, all machines and systems ,may it be hydraulic or thermic system, will show some symptoms that oil has some contamination or some fault. For example, in hydraulic systems if oil seals start leaking more frequently, then it means hydraulic oil has contaminated beyond tolerance limit. This is the time to get your hydraulic oil filtered. Same way, there are some indication in all lubricant applications.

Another way to know the right time for filtration is to get your oil tested after every 3 or 6 months. There are some critical tests for every lubricant, and depending on that, one has to decide if it is time for filtration or scraping that oil. 

For which lubricants ,Filtration will help ?

Almost all industrial lubricants. To list few,

  • Hydraulic oil
  • Thermic Fluid
  • Quenching Oil
  • Direct or Straight cutting oils
  • EDM oil
  • Gear oil of all viscosity
  • conning oil
  • Rust preventive oil .Limitation of Oil Filtration – oil filtration can improve physical properties of lubricant and not chemical properties. It means after using oil for long time if it has oxidized, filtration can not help much. But, if you go for filtration on right time, and remove oxidizing agents present in oil in form of contamination, you can remove them and slow down the process of oxidation, and thus you can increase life of lubricants
  • Obstacles for oil filtration – Question arises that if oil filtration is so important and profitable, why most industries(in India) are not going for that? Well, most of the time there are no technical reasons to this. Many a times maintenance personnel don’t want to try new things fearing that he will be held responsible if anything goes wrong. Some times, they feel proud to use new oil rather than filtering and re-using the same oil,without thinking about possibilities technically. The other common reason that I have observed is that there is pressure to achieve production target and there is no time for shut down for such preventive maintenance jobs. Well, these are my views  based on my experience in field of Lubricant and industrial oil filtration.

You can write to me to discuss more on Industrial oil filtration, or solution for oil filtration.