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IN CONVERSATION WITH: AMAR J. RANJIT, CASTROL NEPAL

AL: TELL US BRIEFLY ABOUT CASTROL’S OVERALL SCOPE AND ITS PLACE WITHIN THE NEPALESE MARKET.

AR: Castrol is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of premium lubricating oils, greases, metal working fluids, control fluids and related services in the automotive, marine, industrial and production sectors across the world. It serves consumers in over 140 countries. Castrol couples high quality lubricant engineering with an expert technical support network and supply capability to deliver quality solutions wherever customers need them.

At the forefront of pioneering technology with its many global R&D centres, Castrol invests every year in research and development of lubricants. Castrol’s global teams of specialists have a deep understanding of what customers need. Hence, they develop solutions to optimize performance and help improve quality, productivity and the environmental, health and safety profiles of their customers. The brand represents over 100 years’ experience in ‘liquid engineering’ producing advanced lubricants for a wide range of applications. Castrol’s products and services play a critical role in lubricating the global economy through what is mined, made and moved around the world.

Castrol was introduced in the Nepalese market more than 4 decades ago and it still has been maintaining its position as a market leader in the automotive lubricant sector since last 2 decades. Initially, Castrol used to be imported to Nepal from UK and then from Singapore, however, currently, all Castrol products come from Dubai, UAE. Since the very beginning till now, Castrol has been deemed as the most trusted lubricant brand in Nepal by the consumers.

AL: WHAT IS CASTROL’S SHARE OF THE AUTOMOTIVE AFTERMARKET IN NEPAL?

AR: Although there is no exact norm available in Nepal to find out the exact percentage of market share, we have been enjoying and are continuing to enjoy the no. 1 position in automotive lubricants segment. Castrol provides customers ‘the confidence’ that their vehicle has the best oil inside and ‘the feel’ that Castrol is bringing out the best performance in their vehicle. In addition, Castrol has always tried to maintain the most competitive prices. However, it cannot be denied that with the introduction of several brands of lubricants, the market has become highly competitive.

AL: WHAT IS AVAILABLE IN CASTROL’S CURRENT AFTERMARKET PRODUCT LINE AND HOW DO THESE PRODUCTS DIFFER FROM THE COMPETITION? 

AR: In the automotive sector, Castrol has been focusing in all 4 segments – Motorcycles, Passenger Cars, Commercial Vehicles and specialty products. Castrol Actevo 4T (engineered with acti-bond molecules) in motorcycle, Castrol GTX (engineered with sludge-busters) in passenger cars and Castrol CRB Turbo (engineered with dura-shield boosters) in commercial vehicles segment have been dominating the Nepalese automotive lubricant market.

Castrol has always been at the forefront of innovation and technology in the world lubricant industry. Castrol tests their engine oils in the most extreme situations – from rigorous lab and industry testing to the highly competitive world of motorsports, where they have been heavily involved for over 100 years. Castrol always works with customers, engine manufacturers and industry bodies to ensure that they have right lubricants for all the vehicles. This is for the reason that Castrol has been given approval / recommendation by many of the world’s largest and prestigious vehicle manufacturers.

AL: WHAT ARE THE MARKETING AND RETAIL STRATEGIES CASTROL HAS ADOPTED TO SUCCEED IN THE NEPALESE MARKET?

AR: In Nepal, mostly mechanics and retailers are found to refer the lubricant brands to end-consumers. Hence, we have always made sure that the mechanics and retailers are rightly educated about our products, their grades, usages and approvals. For this, we have been regularly conducting training seminars and interaction programs across the country. Besides, for excitement, we often run small campaigns for both retailers and mechanics.

AL: HOW DO YOU JUDGE YOUR VOLUME GROWTH? IS IT DEPENDENT ON COMMERCIAL VEHICLES OR PASSENGER VEHICLES OR 2-WHEELERS?

AR: There has been continuous growth in our sales volume in the past years. However, it cannot be denied that, with OEMs enforcing their customers to use whatever lubricants they recommend during the warranty period, it has affected our sales volume.

As we had mentioned above, all the above 3 sectors – Commercial, Passenger and 2-wheelers are equally important in the Nepalese market. However, Commercial and 2-wheelers play a major part in increasing the sales volume.

AL: LASTLY, HOW DOES CASTROL KEEP THE END-USER EDUCATED ON THE COMPANY’S PRODUCTS AND THE PROPER WAY TO USE THEM?

AR: Automotive magazines, FM advertisements, newspaper advertisements, brochures, posters, direct communications / interactions with the end-users are few methods among others which we use to educate the end-users. Besides, our trainings and seminars also communicate our message to the end-users.

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