Elofic Industries Limited, one of India’s leading automotive filter manufacturing companies, which began operations in 1951, has the capacity to produce over 85 million pieces a year for all vehicles. It has state-of-the-art production units in Faridabad (near New Delhi), Nalagarh (Himachal Pradesh) and Hosur (Tamil Nadu). The company has its own warehouse in Milwaukee, Chicago, USA. Elofic is expanding and will soon launch more advanced and environment-friendly range of filtration products with new design packaging. “We have some ambitious plans for the next few months. Very soon we will be launching more products within our core focus area of filtration,”
K D Sahni, Joint Managing Director, Elofic Industries, told AutoParts Asia.
The Faridabad-based Elofic which supplies oil, air, hydraulic and fuel filters mainly for the passenger cars, commercial vehicles and two-wheelers as original equipment, is graduating from the BS-IV norm to BS-VI to be implemented from April1, 2020. With the air pollution levels becoming a public health emergency of sorts in the country, India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has decided to leapfrog from BS-IV to BS-VI emission norms directly.
From April 1, 2017 the whole of India moved to BS-IV vehicular emission norms. The intermediate BS-V level – the implementation of which was originally scheduled for 2019 – is shelved.
Earlier, the Auto Fuel Policy in the country had recommended implementation of BS-VI norms by 2024. However, in a draft notification by the Ministry the date was advanced to April 1, 2021. Finally it has been advanced to 2020.
The move is in line with the promises India had made at the Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015, and the broad public sentiment against dangerously high levels of air pollution in major Indian cities, led by Delhi, the national capital of India.
The migration to BS-VI norms will require improvements in engine combustion and calibration, increased injection and cylinder pressure, NOX and particulate matter treatment solutions and transition to electronic controls.
In order to keep pace with the policy changes, Elofic is in talks with its OEM customers to help them move to the new standards. “We are working with our OEM customers and are fully ready to move to BS-VI level,” KD Sahni said. Its exposure to the more developed markets, with more stringent pollution norms than in India is going to enable the company steer its customers smoothly through this phase of transition.
One of the major challenges for companies operating in this segment is to produce higher efficiency and durable products without price increase so that the requirement for servicing and maintenance does not shoot up. Elofic is ready with acceptable solutions both for OEMs and the aftermarket. It is committed to make its customers’ transition to the advanced level fast and simple.
Elofic has presence in 17 countries in Europe, America, Africa and Asia and several OEM customers in the international markets. Its exposure to the advanced automotive markets of Europe and the US has helped the company to maintain its lead position despite the local challenges.
Elofic is a government-recognised Export House and has an international warehouse in the US. The company has been exporting two-wheeler filters to the American and European markets for Honda and Suzuki applications. It also has bagged orders from Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha, DSK Hyosung and Harley Davidson.
Elofic’s domestic products include a wide range of filter elements, plastic-moulded air filters and foam filters for all two-wheeler applications of Hero, Suzuki, TVS, Royal Enfield and HMSI vehicles. It is a preferred vendor for all domestic OEMs including Tata, Mahindra, Maruti, New Holland, Eicher, Simpson and many others.
Close to 30 percent of its revenue comes from the export market. Another 30 percent is contributed by the domestic market and the rest by aftermarket. “We have been very careful about maintaining this ratio,” the Joint Managing Director said. This is a strategic move by Elofic of not becoming too heavily reliant on one segment.
Elofic has established its presence in the filtration products segment. It is continuously working towards achieving solutions that are at par with the latest technical innovations resulting in superior product quality. It manufactures oil, air, fuel, and hydraulic filters. It offers oil filters, such as spin on, cartridges, strainers, and metal free filters; fuel filters, including plastic and metallic in line, and in tank filters; diesel fuel filters, such as coarse and fine diesel, coil type, spin-on diesel, and metal free filters; air filters, including metal end cap, PU panel type and cylindrical, and plastic injection moulded filters; and hydraulic filters, such as spin on, assemblies, multi-layer pleated media cartridges. The company also provides lubricants, including petrol and diesel engine oils, CNG engine and gear oils, and greases, as well as coolants and gasket markers.
Filters manufactured by Elofic are designed to give high performance and quality. Efficiency is maintained at every level to ensure long and trouble-free engine life. The company has introduced its range of lubricants including top of the line engine oils, gear oils, lithium base AP3 grease, ready to use and concentrated automotive coolant and silicon liquid gaskets.
These products find application in several areas like automotives, agriculture, industrial, small engines, two-wheelers, earthmovers, marine, air-conditioning, industrial heating and petrochemical. The automotive filter market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 11 percent during 2016 – 2021, on account of increasing automobile production and sales, and shorter replacement period of automotive filters, according to a report by Research and Markets.
The report titled, the “India Automotive Filter Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2021”, says, “Expanding fleet size of passenger cars, two-wheelers and three-wheelers in the country is forecast to fuel the demand for automotive filters in the coming years.”
Moreover, continuous government support in the form of various initiatives such as National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP), Focus Market Scheme (FMS), Automotive Mission Plan 2006-2016, National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020, Make in India Programme, etc., would aid the country’s automotive filter market in the coming years.
Elofic expects to ramp up its lubricants business with the in-house oil blending unit. The company has already successfully launched its semi synthetic lubricant range in the market along with entire range of aftermarket lubricants. It has plans to increase its lube capacity from 200 kl per month to 500 kl per month. This is about10 percent of capacity utilisation. Elofic plans to increase its market share in this product segment over the years. Through lubricant business the company will expand its distribution network aggressively.
According to Lubricants Market Size By Application, Industry Analysis Report, Regional Outlook (U.S., Germany, UK, China, India, Japan, LATAM, MEA), Application Potential, Price Trend, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2015 – 2022, India lubricants market size is expected to witness growth over 11 percent, in terms of revenue during the forecast timeframe owing to the strong domestic lubricant consumption demand through the automotive and manufacturing industries.
Increasing demand for machinery maintenance from manufacturing sector to minimise the operational cost will stimulate the business growth in future. Asia Pacific is expected to witness growth during forecast period subject to increasing demand from machining, mining, plastics and metal forming industry mainly in China and India which has resulted in capability expansions, the report added.
Elofic has five modern filter manufacturing facilities out of which three plants are in Faridabad, the Indian State of Haryana where it is headquartered. It also has one manufacturing unit each at Noida in Uttar Pradesh, Nalagarh in Himachal Pradesh, and Hosur in Tamil Nadu. The company has an annual production capacity of 85 million pieces. It has also set-up its state-of-art oil blending unit at Faridabad which was set-up in July 2012.
Elofic is looking for land near Ahmedabad for a new project with a projected investment of Rs 80 crore, including land and machinery. The project is expected to come up in an area of 25 to 30 acres and will add nearly 25 percent to the current capacity of Elofic. This project was earlier proposed to be operational by the end of 2016. Sahni said that this is a long-term proposal and will not be ready so soon. “We are not in a hurry at all,” he said.
In order to maintain a leadership position in the industry Elofic spends a significant amount of resources on the upgradation of its facilities every year. It has earmarked Rs 20 crore for this. “Upgradation is extremely important to maintain the leadership role and stay competitive,” Sahni added.
The company adopts a distinctive three-way methodology to understand, implement and deliver products transcending customer expectations. New product development is undertaken based on customer-specific requirements, product benchmark and design based on the customer inputs. Elofic has been banking on its quality movement for its brand penetration in the market. It is the first filter manufacturing company to get TS 16949.
The company has been increasing its in-house metal working capabilities by the addition of heavy duty power and hydraulic presses. It has been streamlining its processes to ensure improved quality and efficiency of its products.
Elofic’s R&D Centre, located at its Corporate Office in Faridabad, is recognized by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and is meticulously involved in the task of coming up with futuristic solutions for its customers. The centre is equipped with latest testing and calibration equipment. It provides solutions for the entire automotive chain starting from concept, design and product development to the manufacturing stage.
Besides, its corporate office in Faridabad, the company owns two state-of-art regional warehouses in Nagpur and Hosur to cater to the demands of the automotive hubs in these regions. They are all on modern concepts with WMS and web-based portals given to customers to enable them see stocks in the warehouses. There is in-house software in place for this. The company has about 10,000 distributors and 30,000 retail outlets spread across the country. The Faridabad headquartered company was expecting that it will touch a revenue target of Rs 500 crore by year 2016-17. However, due to slower than expected growth in the financial year 2015, the company reached only the halfway mark on this front. “We now hope to touch that target by 2020,” Sahni said.
Elofic is the only company in India in the filter industry which has got complete backward integration from doing child and plastic parts, filter paper, sheet metal, paper induction, and string manufacturing.
“We have backward integration up to 80 percent. This gives us a very strong foothold in terms of sustainable quality, quantity and cost. This is our strength and our plus point,” according to Sahni.
Elofic has more than 800 employees who serve in different departments. Keeping pace with technological advancement in terms of connectivity the company launched an app (for Android & IOS Devices) for its product catalogue having more than 10,000 filter elements and lubricant products in 2015.
Earlier, it was a real challenge for the channel partners, dealers, mechanics and end users to find the right product, for the right application. However, the Elofic- App shows the right product in every search. The Elofic App provides the ability to locate products by application, product code and cross reference.
Elofic was founded in 1951 by its present chairman M S Sahni. Earlier the family had a transport business. They had two shops selling auto parts in Rawalpindi and Jhelum which are now in Pakistan. After the partition, the current Chairman, M S Sahni, decided to make oil filters. He was just 20 years then.
In the meantime diesel vehicles came to India, beginning with Tata Mercedes. These trucks required diesel fuel filters, which the company then started manufacturing. It started with oil filters as at that time cars did not use fuel filters. It became the pioneers in filter manufacture as nobody was making it in India at that time. Today, Elofic is the only company that has a government-approved laboratory. The company is a true embodiment of the ‘Make in India’ programme.
Elofic has consistently been at the forefront of the quality movement in India. It received ISO:9002 certification in 1995 and was among the first 10 companies in the country to be awarded the QS:9000 certificate in 1997 and upgraded its ISO:9002 Certification to 9001 in 2000. It was the first filter company to be awarded the TS 16949:2002 certificate in 2004. It was also the first filter company to be awarded the ISO:9001 certificate for all its branch offices for marketing across the country.
The company won the Rajiv Gandhi Award for Quality in 1998 and the ACMA Quality Award in 1999. The Elofic Chairman received the All India Best Entrepreneur award in the medium industry category for 2007. The company is certified for ISO/TS 16949:2009, OHSAS 18001:2007 and ISO 14001:2004.