Tide Water Oil, a public sector lubricant-maker, is gearing up to relaunch its brand Veedol in European markets like Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
In October 2011, Tide Water had acquired the global marketing rights spanning 120 countries to the brand from global oil-and-gas major BP.
It did so by acquiring a 100% stake in Veedol International from Castrol and Lubricants UK, both wholly owned subsidiaries of BP.
“We are going to those geographies where Veedol had good salience in the past. Its brand equity is strongest in geographies like Germany, Austria and Switzerland. For the European market, our sourcing would be done from the Netherlands where we have set up a subsidiary. Hopefully, we will be making our first sales in Europe in September-October,” said Tide Water’s MD R N Ghosal.
Despite such a global presence, Veedol has been languishing as BP had long lost its interest in the brand, investing little in advertising and marketing over the past 7-8 years. This has made Tide Water’s relaunch effort a difficult proposition.
“We are not in a hurry to regain our lost markets. Veedol has also some brand equity in the Middle East and Latin America which will help give us some headway in re-entering those markets and slowly getting back the market share it once enjoyed,” said Tide Water’s chairman Kallol Datta.
Tide Water opened an operational subsidiary in Dubai called Veedol International DMCC in February 2012, to serve the Middle East and African markets. The Dubai arm has already achieved break-even and has appointed country distributors in the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen.
“Last fiscal, it did a business of $7 million. This fiscal, we plan to double it,” said Ghosal at Tide Water’s annual general meeting.
Veedol entered South Africa last month while trade enquiries were received from Taiwan and Myanmar. “We are also considering appointing brand franchisees in geographies like Canada and Latin America,” said Ghosal.
Veedol and its sub-brands — Prima, Turbo and Take Off — cater to diesel engines, two-wheelers, tractors, earth-moving equipment, hydraulic machinery and industrial and automotive greases, and enjoy a 5% market share in India.
Tide Water also sells lubricants under the brand Eneos, licensed from JX Nippon Oil and Energy Corp of Japan.