GULF 2018 - A GOOD SPACE TO BE!
Let me start by wishing everyone a very prosperous, safe and exciting 2018, also I thank GOI for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts with you in the first issue of Gulf Today in the new year.
Looking at last year, it gives me great satisfaction, as we were in a ‘good space’ continuing our successful run in India, as the fastest growing company in the lubes space in terms of volumes & profit, as well as market share growth. Our stock price scaled an all-time high of Rs. 1100 (US $17) per share as the investors acknowledged our strong business model, our consistent track record and our brand strength in India. We did have our fair share of challenges caused by India’s demonetisation, the introduction of a standard goods sales tax and our competitors lowering their prices – but we overcame these, so my thanks are due to the India team as well as the support from GOI and so many people around the Gulf world.
This also brings me to another aspect of the Good Space concept. All of us at Gulf have to grow more in the market. In this respect I think back to the infectious impact of last year’s Dubai conference, which is inspiring us to leverage, even more, our brand and our people strengths. I am sure that this is our ‘New Year Resolution’ for the business side for all my Gulf compatriots, and it should be like a tonic to give us the energy to move ahead in 2018.
2018 will be an interesting year. It’s a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world out there: oil prices are moving up, consumer behaviour is evolving, alternate energy and environmental concerns are in constant discussion. In emerging markets like India there is talk of electric vehicles gaining ground. Our strength is our brand, our DNA, our people and, of course, the values we can create for our customers – and we should focus on our core strategies. It is important that we identify the segments we want to attack, market-by-market, and that we relentlessly pursue the right strategies month-after-month, as planned.
The strength of conviction and the resolve we have – and we build – will be critical for us in these times. Trust me, as we relentlessly do what we believe in, it makes it possible to occupy the space we want. In India, we have been able to gain market share and strengthen our brand so that today we are proud that our internal teams and channel partners are seen by our industry opinion leaders as making a significant impact across segments and geographic territories, even as the marquee brands struggle.
At the Dubai conference, there were golden nuggets of some great work being done in so many markets – from New Zealand, Italy, China, Bangladesh and many more. The success formula is in our hands and our minds. Let’s stay inspired to take the space that rightfully belongs to us – a space tinted with blue and orange, one that is imbued with layers of passion from us all.
I’m hoping to see 2018 as the year when we emerge as a force to be reckoned with, globally – in many, many more markets under the inspiring leadership of GOI and the Hinduja Group.