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India’s Balmer Lawrie is forecasting improved profitability for lubricants business

Profitability from the lubricants business is expected to improve in 2015-16 due to lower crude oil prices, despite lower volume growth, according to Balmer Lawrie Chairman and Managing Director Prabal Basu.

Balmer Lawrie is the market leader in the lubricating grease market and the preferred supplier for all the leading international OEMs in India.

Basu, who has been associated with the company for nearly three decades, believes leveraging traditional areas of expertise is the key to achieving “quick” top line growth for the company.

Basu is forecasting a turnover of INR 50 billion (USD 749 million) by Fiscal Year 2020-21, looking to achieve the target through a multi-pronged strategy of squeezing operating efficiencies by deploying advanced information technology tools, and aggressively relying on itsย current strengths.

As part of this plan, the 150-year old company is set to revamp its information technology systems across the board, which would enable it to increase operational efficiency.

Balmer Lawrie, based in Calcutta, India has invested INR 70-80 million (USD 1-1.2 million) for hardware server systems in 2015-16, and has earmarked an annual capital expenditure of INR 40-50 million of (USD 600,000) for the next three to five years. A diversified company, Basu sais the investment includes a new portal for its travel and vacations business, along with data mining, data analysis, sales depot integration, and GPS tracking.

“We have to increase our service levels, improve the IT infrastructure and the portal. Work is on to revamp these, and by June-end, we should have an updated portal with new and improved features,” he said.