Home / Features / Interview – Nitin Prasad, Chairman, Shell Companies in India

 

We attended the 2018 Shell Make the Future and Eco-marathon and came away impressed

We caught up with Nitin Prasad, Chairman, Shell Companies in India, during Shell Make the Future for a chat

As the chairman of Shell Companies in India, are you happy with how Shell is doing in the country?

Absolutely. This is our 25th year here and we have organically built all of our businesses. Today, Shell is a company that is growing into a different growth vector in India. We are now the third largest employer in the Shell group. There are three service centres in India: a finance centre, an IT centre, and a research and development and engineering facility. Each of these centres is working on global projects as key centres. The quality of the talent, their capability, and resilience are fantastic. We have learnt and understood how to be successful in a tough market like India.

As an energy transition company, what are your future plans for India?

We are building our portfolio of energy solutions and it cuts across various sections such as transport and power, etc. We made a move to strengthen our gas market and also strengthened our presence in the mobility and transport part of the portfolio. We have made some developments in bio-fuel and will be taking that forward along with the mass-energy space. We are expanding across the spectrum and starting to take a look at different customer segments and consumer types. We have begun to build our capability and are providing energy solutions. The key thing we are looking at is how to make them resilient in energy transition. We want to be here for decades to come and we need to build a portfolio that is going to be resilient for all other changes that are going to take place.

With reference to the Indian market, how easy or difficult do you think it will be to deploy sustainable solutions? Which one will be easiest to adopt and build infrastructure for in India?

We operate in about 100 countries around the world. There are countries that are much tougher than India and there are ones that are easier. It also depends on what part of the solution space we want to think about. Solar, wind, and other power generation spaces are obviously the easy ones and a lot of people are doing it. However, we are not in that space. We think biofuels is good and we are quite interested in that space. At the end of the day, even something like a transition to BS VI is in its own form a sustainable look at things by reducing emission.

As a corporation, is Shell ready for the transition to BS VI?

While BS VI is a new specification, it is not that different from Euro 6. Since Euro 6 has been in effect for a long time, we already have the capability and technology to convert refineries to the required norms and we have done it across all of our refineries. There is a lot of work to be done in the cars and vehicle technology such as shifting drivetrains, engine types, and so forth. We are working in partnership with some of the OEMs to help develop lubricant/fuel solutions that can help this transition to BS VI. From our perspective, we already have the technology. It is more about the deployment of that technology and putting it into use with our customers.

As a company that is involved in some of the highest classes of motor racing across the globe, do you have any plans for Indian motor sport; in the electric space or otherwise?

Well, we do not have any plans at the moment but that does not mean that we will/will not do it in the future. We are mainly looking at platforms that encourage innovation, design, creativity, and energy solutions. Does it help to move the needle forward in terms of addressing some of the energy challenges and energy transition? If it does, of course, we will take a look at it.

What would you like to say to a college student who is reading this interview?

We need great minds and creative solutions because the greatest problem that we have is de-carbonization of the transport sector. It means that we have to work across a range of vehicle types. We need to collaborate and work well together to be able to come up with a solution. I invite them to come and participate with us on all the platforms that we have like Shell Eco-marathon, Ideas360 or our start-up hub, E4.

 

About the author: Joshua Varghese

 

 

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