Its business model is based on the principle of maximum vertical integration and commitment to the sustainable development to reinforce a culture of high resilience to the changing macroeconomic environment through risk diversification
In 2007, the company decided to bring its expertise in lubricants technology to the maritime industry. LUKOIL Marine Lubricants was founded as a global sales and marketing business focusing on the production and sales of marine lubricants worldwide. The approach was to form a new marine lubricants organization with outstanding operational and technical service, based on profound marine lubricants knowledge.
Dr. June Manoharan, Managing Director of LUKOIL Marine Lubricants MENA, has exclusively clarified to the Zone the company’s leading role in the marine lubricants industry and its success journey in the region.
Strong global position
LUKOIL is one of the largest suppliers of marine lubricants in the Middle East. “We own more than 35% of the Middle East regional marine lubricants market and we are the main supplier for the largest shipping companies in the region. We are proud to be the market leader,” said Manoharan. Achieving outstanding global ranking in less than a decade, LUKOIL Marine Lubricants has achieved significant market shares in Singapore, HK South Africa and India. It is also making major progress in Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand.
The company produces and markets over 150 lubricant products to meet their customer requirements from marine, auto and industrial sectors across the Middle East and South Asian markets. The product range covers from the modern to most advanced synthetic motor oils, various industrial oils, hydraulic fluids and speciality lubricants. Globally, LUKOIL International has over 700 products in its portfolio, and we have introduced over 150 of them in this region.
Smart and agile services
Regarding the tactics that LUKOIL has been implementing to accomplish this remarkable development, Manoharan explained, “we understand our customers’ needs and meet their requirements, we expanded our distribution network to cover more than 900 ports.”
The company said that their fast decision-making processes has enabled them to succeed in this expanded network approach. They explained that they trust in intensive communication with customers and local partners to ensure that the products are delivered reliably at all times.
Manoharan emphasized, “As a responsible marketer and the fastest growing global lubricants brand, LUKOIL wants to be closer to the customer and contribute to the local economy and community, where it operates. Also, there are operational and cost advantages to customers – shorter lead time as opposed to moving products from Europe, flexibility and supply efficiency helping them manage their working capital better.”
LUKOIL has a very robust R&D programme and competent team, which works with reputed global OEMs (car makers) in order to keep the company’s product portfolio up-to-date in response to the continuously changing needs of the industry. This collaboration helps LUKOIL to secure and maintain the prestigious approvals for its products and also work proactively to keep itself ahead of the curve when it comes to adopting newer technologies.
“We follow the in-tank, or batch blending process, which provides us the advantage of flexibility to respond to very volatile customer demands, avoid cross contaminations and maintain overall low cost of product”
Innovative and futuristic technology
“LUKOIL has already stayed ahead of the curve and developed an impressive range of synthetic products. We are pleased to excel in such a highly sophisticated and competitive market”
In addition to the company’s smart approach of providing distinctive services, LUKOIL depends on another factor to reach more customers and occupy a leading position exceeding 12% of the global market share. Manoharan added, “Innovation in technology is the most significant booster to our success. Through our technology head office in Hamburg, we have a unique capability to identify our customers’ new requirements”. LUKOIL was the first company to develop a high BN cylinder oil in 2011.
Manoharan explained further, “Our achievements cycle has witnessed constant improvements, we developed “iCOlube” (intelligent Cylinder Oil lubrication unit) that provides cost-effective solutions and efficiency to the vessel.”
Further to this new achievement, the company was again first in the market to introduce fully saturated EAL (Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants) products, which fulfil all requirements for both safe and environmentally friendly operation.
The UAE as a maritime hub
As for the reason for choosing the UAE as the headquarter for LUKOIL Marine Lubricants’ global operations, Manoharan mentioned that the UAE has become a truly cosmopolitan destination in business and cultural aspects. “It is extremely easy to run a global business in the UAE. We enjoy full government support to simplify business processes,” she added. Due to the outstanding journey of success of LUKOIL Marine Lubricants, the company’s main office in Moscow decided to launch the industrial and automotive lubricant business in 2015 in the GCC countries.
“It is significant for us to be part of a strong free zone such as Jafza. We need a partner that understands our varied and complex business needs, and Jafza’s global connectivity and advanced business operating framework help us navigate through our business here with ease. With the government safeguarding industrial interests, more industries are being encouraged to come forward and set up their businesses in free zones that offer several facilities. This will help solidify the ‘Made in UAE’ brand to reach new heights,” Manoharan concluded.