UKs Morris Lubricants Enters India

United Kingdom-based Morris Lubricants has expanded its operations in India by establishing a subsidiary in Mumbai and signing a local distribution partner.

Paterson Lubricants India Pvt., Morris fully-owned subsidiary, commenced operations early this month. Initially, Paterson will focus on the western and southern regions of India, the worlds third-largest lube-consuming country.

India is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world and hence a very attractive destination for our growth, Andrew Wilkins, director of Paterson Enterprises U.K., said in a recent press release. We realized that for the Indian market, unlike other countries, exports from the U.K. may not be the ideal solution, hence we decided to indigenize the production of lubricants and also to maximize the sourcing of raw materials in India.

Morris-branded products will be toll-manufactured by Standard Greases & Specialities Pvt. at the latters facility near Mumbai, a consultant working with Morris told Lube Report Asia.

Morris selected George Oakes Ltd., an Amalgamations Group company, as its sales and distribution partner in India. George Oakes has been distributing around 20 brands of vehicle parts to fleet operators, garage owners and traders through its 33 branches and over 6,500 active dealers across southern and western India, according to its website.

To be successful in the competitive market of India, where global multinational oil companies are already established, we realized the need for a well-established distribution house to be our partner, said Steve Dawe, international business director of Morris Lubricants.

The company started planning its foray about two years ago, appointing Mumbai-based Rosefield DAA International Consultancy to conduct a market study and to identify suitable partners for Morris entire value chain, from raw materials procurement to distribution.

Morris said it will initially focus on the automobile segment in India and later expand its product offering to include lubricants for industrial and power generation segments. The lube maker also plans to explore growth opportunities in the niche markets of biodegradable and specialty lubricants.

To establish our presence in India, we are initially introducing a range of lubricants manufactured for cars, commercial vehicles, tractors and two-wheelers, Wilkins said. We are planning to launch premium-segment engine oils for the Euro IV/Bharat Stage IV [auto emissions standards] market and also semi-synthetic and synthetic motor oils for fuel-efficient cars.

India implemented the Bharat Stage IV emissions standard across the country this month. The government plans to implement the BS VI emissions standard, which is modelled on the EUs Euro 6 standard, from April 2020, leapfrogging the Euro 5 equivalent in response to rising air pollution in the country.

Indias lubricants demand, which is estimated to be around 2.2 million metric tons per year and is valued at close to Rs 32,000 crore (Rs 320 billion, or approximately U.S. $5 billion), is expected to grow at 4 percent to 5 percent year on year, Wilkins said.

Morris claims to be one of the largest privately owned manufacturers of lubricants in Europe. Production from its main manufacturing facility in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, includes conventional lubricants, semi-synthetic and synthetic oils, greases, biodegradable lubricants, workshop products and lube handling equipment. Its customers include vehicle manufacturers, industrial corporations, large fleet owners, taxi operators, marine ships and distributors both in the U.K. and in over 80 countries throughout Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, Africa and South America.

Photo: Morris Lubricants