As a Global Brand Manager, Vivek what is your role in Shell?
Vivek Pareek (VP): As you know, Shell is a big brand and big brands
can add a lot of value to a consumer’s life. We are on a mission to make bike
ride more enjoyable. Millions of people ride bikes and are there to make sure
they enjoy their rides. That is what Shell Advance exists for. Our core value
propositions to the consumers are: We make every bike ride enjoyable. We
believe that if we add value to our consumers they will reward us.
So is this IBW a great platform for promoting your brand?
VP: Absolutely! At the India Bike Week you can see the people
around, there is so much excitement, so much raw passion, and I feel so happy
to be here. I just feel like hugging these guys. They are so passionate about
what they do. That is also we as a brand are, we exist for bike. If there is no
bike Shell Advance would not be there. This is the second time we are here and
we are really happy to be here.
The brand has to be good and the product too has to be good. So
technically how sound is this product you are launching here?
Akhileshwar Jha (AJ): I must tell you that this product is very
much apart from the rest of the products you see here. The product is made
through the PurePlus technology which comes from Gas To Liquid. In simple
terms, the liquid is from natural gas. It is really pure from all the
impurities you have in the crude oil. It is crystal clear base oil and then we
use the patented technology from Shell which is Active Cleansing. The product
we are launching today (Shell Advance Ultra 15W50) is about staying with the power.
Using this oil, the engine delivers great power in all terrains, be it hilly
areas, cold regions, high temperature regions, harsh conditions etc. In all
such conditions, the oil does not thin down.
The oil is technically superior, but has this been conveyed to the
AJ: The Rev it Up campaign is all about it. Biking is about
feeling. One has to feel the power of the oil from the engine to the wheel. It
is not about viscosity alone. It is the PurePlus technology that we have. And
with the Active Cleansing, the oil keeps the engine clean. There is no friction loss, you have power all
the way through. I talked to bikers about few concerns like noise and
vibration. These are some areas the oil addresses in the bike.
How different is this oil from the one you launched at the last IBW?
AJ: The technology remains the same. This time is for the
superbikes, the heavier motorcycles. The oil has been made keeping the passion
and demands of the real biker.
India is more of a commuter bike country. Do you address that segment
AJ: Yes, India is mainly utility biking and the young boys love to
rev up their bikes, especially to show off to their partners. This oil which we
launched has a lot of benefits in terms of performance. There is also a lot of
How significant is the digital space for promoting your product and
creating brand awareness?
VP: As brands are concerned, we are here to serve the consumers. We
got where the consumers go. India is on the cusp of a digital revolution. As
more and more people go digital, we are present more in the digital space and
we are able to engage them there.
How do you perceive the Indian market, since you are based out of
Singapore, what’s your take on India?
VP: Firstly, I am an Indian. I grew up here and spent many years in
India. India is among the top three bike markets in the world. We are huge, so
for me India is one of the biggest opportunities. I am here to focus on India
and India is the growth story for me, much more than some of the other markets.
Within India you can find big bikers, commuter bikers...there is place for
everybody here in India. This is not a small pond, this is the sea.
Can you tell us about the R&D efforts undertaken by your company?
AJ: Shell is a technology leader. Globally we spend US $ 1.2
billion on R&D itself. Coming to lubricants we have around 150 patents on
R&D, especially on lubricant products. We have a technology centre in
Houston in the US, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Hamburg in Germany, and also
in Bangalore in India. We have more than 300 field experts who are on the
ground working with OEMs and customers. We follow the 4D process which means
Define, Design, Develop and Demonstrate.
India offers a very tough terrain and varying temperatures at different
places, so does that mean the oil for India is different?
AJ: Any Shell product is tested under various conditions around the
world. This could be very high
temperature regions in Africa to extreme cold regions of Siberia. Coming to
India, we do every extensive testing with OEMs here. We also work independently
with test houses around the world and we also have our own testing facility and
an intense R&D process. We really simulate all these conditions, take
feedback from the field and follow the 4D process. To give you an example, in India you have a
lot of stop and start traffic and that results in the oil becoming sluggish.
This is where the PurePlus technology comes in and prevents sluggishness.
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