By Dhairya Gupta
Shell recently launched a mobile app called ‘Shell Lubematch’. Basically, this app helps a user in finding the right match of lubricants for his/her cars and bikes. The launch event was coupled with a small discussion with few blogger’s in Delhi. Shell Lubricant’s MD Mr Nitin Prasad discussed Shell’s business and the future with bloggers in the field of motoring and mobile devices.
The App is available for Android and iOS devices and a version for Windows based phones is also being planned. Those with Blackberry phones, would still need to look in their user manual for the right match. I downloaded the app and tried it. It is nice with an easy to use menu listing vehicles by category and then listed by manufacturer. I specially loved the little ‘busy’ logo – an engine with moving pistons.
The list was exhaustive to see but both my vehicles were omitted – Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTSi and the Fiat Punto. While the DTSFi was listed and so was Linea, the list had no meaning for me.
Shell people said they are still working on the list and I do believe they would soon be completing the list. Also after selecting 220 DTSFi, I found they have not given the grade of oil recommended. We hope the list and the data will be completed soon as this can prove to be a very helpful application.
What we would like to see added to the feature –
-Price of the Shell oil being suggested – to enable users compare the prices with other oils available
– Closest store where the lube can be bought
The discussion went on the kind of innovation Shell has been doing. Innovation just not driven by their $1 Billion investment in R&D but things like marketing innovation. Shell is using social media to spread the word of how the cars using their products have been driven on all surfaces from Polar Ice to scorching deserts to rain forests. They agree that, toughest challenge remain Indian roads with cold winters to hot summers to bumper to bumper traffic – all this in the hands of locally grown Sebastian Vettels.
The kind of things they do to generate $430 Billion in revenue is incredible – they have commercialized the use of Liquified Natural Gas – LNG in transporation and it is being used in trucks in Canada. They are very bullish on LNG since new and new fields of Natural Gas are being explored giving more energy security and the carbon emission of a LNG truck is 20% less than a Diesel one. However, such large scale changes need to be supported by the right government policies. We believe that Indian government should seriously give this technology a thought and look at the possibility of having more LNG based trucks and buses. It will have two part advantage –
i) Subsidy being given to Diesel shifted to other purposes – healthcare, primary education, building race tracks
ii) Improved environment – Whatever environmental benefits we get in a year from converting an auto to CNG are nullified with just one rev our superbly well maintained trucks.
Shell also works with auto companies to help them build better engines and designs specific lubricants around those engines for better performance.
We like initiatives like this where we get to discuss face to face our views of auto world with the drivers of the big companies. Or maybe it’s only me – a petro head inside the body of a business consultant