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Arijit Basu

Arijit Basu: Driving Innovations in the Automotive and Industrial Sectors

From Tradition to Innovation!

In the automotive and industrial sectors, the importance of engine oils cannot be overstated. These specialized lubricants serve as the lifeblood of engines, ensuring smooth operation, reducing friction, dissipating heat, and preventing wear and tear. From powering vehicles on highways to driving machinery in industrial settings, the need for reliable engine oils tailored to specific requirements is primary. They not only optimize performance but also extend the lifespan of engines, making them crucial assets in diverse applications and sectors.

In industrial applications, innovations in automotive lubricants are playing a critical role in customer satisfaction. A notable figure in this field, Arijit Basu, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the forefront. His journey from academia to a leadership role embodies a commitment to learning and navigating changing environments.

With a background in Chemistry and Management, Arijit’s leadership philosophy centers on aiding growth and agility. As the Managing Director of Tide Water Oil Company (I) Ltd, his strategic vision emphasizes profitable growth while prioritizing customer-centricity and operational efficiency. His approach underscores the importance of aligning purpose with action, ensuring the organization remains resilient amid challenges.

Under Arijit’s guidance, Veedol is not merely a manufacturer but a driver of innovation and industry excellence. Through strategic partnerships and a dedication to customer-centric solutions, the company continues to redefine standards in lubricant technology. As Veedol expands its product offerings and market reach, his leadership remains pivotal in leading the company towards sustained growth and industry leadership.

Let’s explore Arijit’s leadership journey in the automotive and industrial sectors:

A Journey of Transformation

Arijit’s journey began in the late nineties as a young Chemistry graduate, brimming with enthusiasm for learning and an aspiration to explore new places and people. The world back then was on the cusp of the millennium, with a generation poised to experience a revolution in information technology transformations. His innate ability to learn quickly in a new environment and willingness to tread uncharted paths led him to dive into the world of work as a “Sales Trainee” with a Swiss Multinational company in Specialty Construction Chemicals.

This openness to learning kept him going, with every new challenge turning into yet another opportunity. Eventually, his interest in exploring and understanding people provided him with a strong foundation in several functions of general management. The journey from a sales trainee to managing director has been a thrilling one filled with transformative learning and experiences.

His passion for learning, traveling to new places, meeting new people, exploring new cultures, and taking on new challenges has always provided him with the adrenaline rush to keep moving and adapting to the dynamic ecosystem.

Inspired by Innovation

With an educational background in Chemistry and Management, Arijit has always had a keen interest in the specialty chemical industry. This interest further led him to diversify into automotive and industrial lubricants. One of his key inspirations is to explore the new-age mobility needs and solutions, which are evolving at a rapid pace.

The Guiding Principle of Leadership

As the Managing Director of Tide Water Oil Company (I) Ltd., the manufacturer of the Veedol brand of automotive and industrial lubricants and greases, Arijit’s main responsibilities and duties on a day-to-day basis are:

Firstly, he ensures ‘profitable growth’ for the organization despite the challenging business scenarios it faces. To overcome these challenges, he focuses on identifying and leveraging ‘growth drivers’ as well as driving ‘operational efficiency’ across the business.

Secondly, he keeps a keen eye on evolving customer preferences, which have shifted more towards ‘convenience’ beyond just products and services. In response, he strives to make the organization more ‘agile’ and ‘customer-centric’ to better serve their customers.

Importantly, he firmly believes that ‘purpose over profit’ should be the guiding principle. This underpins his leadership style, which he describes as ‘Listen – Learn – Act – Adopt – Deliver’.

He strongly believes in sticking to the ‘basics’ as the key to success. This has helped them navigate the uncertainties of the pandemic period effectively, ensuring the safety of their employees while maintaining strong relationships with their vendors, business partners, and customers. Looking ahead, he is focused on expanding Veedol’s international footprint while also capturing growth opportunities in the domestic market across different vehicle segments and the B2B/OEM business. Their readiness with e-fluids for the emerging electric vehicle segment also underscores their future-ready stance.

In summary, his day-to-day responsibilities revolve around steering the organization towards profitable and sustainable growth while fostering a culture of agility, customer-centricity, and purpose-driven leadership.

Strategic Planning for Profitable Growth

Arijit approaches preparing and leading the organization to the next level of profitable growth in a business-ready, future-ready, and people-ready manner:


Recognizing that their people are the backbone of their success, Arijit places a strong emphasis on talent management and organizational development. He fosters a culture of continuous learning, empowerment, and collaboration, where team members are encouraged to take on new challenges, share their ideas, and contribute to the company’s growth. He also prioritizes employee well-being, work-life balance, and professional development to attract, retain, and nurture top talent.

To bring these elements together, he relies on a strategic planning process that aligns the organization’s vision, mission, and goals. He involves cross-functional teams in this process, ensuring that diverse perspectives are considered and that there is a shared understanding of the organization’s priorities and the roadmap to achieve them.

Ultimately, his approach is guided by the principle of “purpose over profit,” where he strives to create long-term, sustainable value for their customers, employees, and stakeholders. By maintaining this focus and continuously adapting to the evolving business landscape, he is confident that Veedol will be well-positioned to reach new heights of profitable growth and industry leadership.

The Key to Overcoming Challenges and Driving Success

One of the major challenges that Arijit has encountered in his role is ensuring ‘profitable growth’ for the organization, especially during challenging business scenarios. To overcome this, he has found that the best approach is to focus intently on identifying and capitalizing on ‘growth drivers’ while also driving ‘operational efficiency’ across the business.

Another key challenge has been the fast-changing customer preferences, with a growing emphasis on ‘convenience’ beyond just products and services. To address this, he has worked to make their organization more ‘agile’ and ‘customer-centric’ so that they can better cater to the evolving needs of their customers.

He believes that maintaining a ‘purpose over profit’ mindset is crucial, which is why he has adopted a leadership style focused on ‘Listen- Learn-Act – Adopt – Deliver.’ This has helped them navigate turbulent times, such as the recent pandemic, where they had to ensure the safety of their employees while also supporting their vendors, partners, and customers.

Through it all, he has found that sticking to the ‘basics’ has been the key to overcoming challenges and driving success. This has involved proactive planning, decisive execution, and a relentless focus on building enduring relationships across their ecosystem.

By staying true to these principles, they were able to emerge from the pandemic period with their brand and business relationships even stronger than before. Looking ahead, he remains committed to expanding Veedol’s global footprint while also capturing growth opportunities in the domestic market and preparing for the future with its e-fluids offerings.

Customer-Centric Innovation

At Veedol, they have always kept people at the core of their strategy. Arijit believes that to lead any transformation successfully, it must be a people movement rather than a management dictate. The world around them is changing fast and at a scary pace, and more than ever before, organizational leadership needs to demonstrate “empathy” as the key driver to influencing the transformation required.

They have a glorious past legacy to be proud of, while they always strive to remain “progressive” and “relevant” in line with the times. Their guiding philosophy is in line with their mission to provide their customers with a best-in-class experience in an innovative, sustainable, and customer-centric way while striving to maximize benefits for all their stakeholders.

Empathetic Leadership

Arijit’s leadership style is based on “Listen > Learn > Act > Adopt > Deliver.” To build a high-performance team, a leader needs to act with “empathy” while demanding “performance.” No one is perfect, but a TEAM can be! By nurturing and nudging team members to work on “complementary” strengths, they strive to achieve “profitable growth.”

Unlocking Potential through Feedback and Guidance

These are the strategies that Arijit employs for team building, mentoring, and developing talents within the organization:

Team Building:

He firmly believes that a cohesive and collaborative team is the foundation for organizational success. To foster strong team dynamics, he focuses on creating opportunities for cross-functional interactions, team-building activities, and open dialogue. By encouraging team members to share their ideas, concerns, and experiences, he aims to build a culture of trust and mutual respect.

  • Mentoring: In addition to leading by example, he actively engages in mentoring his team members. He makes it a point to provide regular feedback, both positive and constructive, to help them identify their strengths, address their weaknesses, and unlock their full potential. He also serves as a sounding board for their ideas and career aspirations, guiding them in their professional development.
  • Talent Development: Nurturing and retaining top talent is a key priority for him. He invests in targeted training programs, job rotations, and cross-functional assignments to broaden the skillsets of his team members. He also encourages them to take on challenging projects that stretch their capabilities while providing the necessary support and resources to ensure their success.

He believes in creating an environment that fosters continuous learning and growth. He encourages his team to attend industry events, conferences, and workshops to stay abreast of the latest trends and best practices. He also facilitates knowledge-sharing sessions within the organization, where team members can learn from each other’s experiences and expertise.

By implementing these strategies, he aims to build a highly engaged, skilled, and adaptable team that is well-equipped to navigate the evolving business landscape and drive the organization’s success. He firmly believes that investing in the development of their people is the surest path to sustainable growth and industry leadership.

Investing in Development

As a strategy, Veedol will keep introducing more and more new products in line with the application requirements for industrial applications as well as the automotive sector. Specific to Construction & Mining, they intend to provide more customized solutions, including services, to their customers. Veedol invests a lot of time in developing and strengthening/upskilling, which they will continue to do for all their relevant value chain stakeholders.

Empowering Teams

As a leader, Arijit strongly believes in leading by example and fostering a culture of collaboration, open communication, and continuous learning. His leadership style is centered around the principle of “Listen – Learn – Act – Adopt – Deliver,” which he finds to be highly effective in motivating and empowering his team.

Firstly, he makes it a point to actively listen to his team members and understand their perspectives, concerns, and aspirations. This helps him tailor his approach to provide them with the right support and guidance they need to succeed.

Secondly, he encourages a learning mindset within the organization. He strongly believes that they can all benefit from constantly expanding their knowledge and skills. Whether it’s through training programs, exposure to new projects, or cross-functional collaboration, he strives to create an environment that nurtures professional growth.

Thirdly, he is not afraid to act decisively when required. However, he also believes in involving his team in the decision-making process, as he values their insights and input. This collaborative approach helps build a sense of ownership and commitment within the team.

Moreover, he is always open to adapting their strategies and plans based on evolving market dynamics and feedback from his team. This agility and willingness to evolve are crucial in today’s fast-paced business environment.

Ultimately, his goal is to empower his team to deliver exceptional results. He provides them with the necessary resources, support, and autonomy to excel in their roles. He also recognizes and celebrates their achievements, as he firmly believes that motivated and engaged employees are the backbone of any successful organization.

Lessons from Animals and Chess

Being with animals teaches Arijit empathy and respect for natural balance, while chess keeps his competitive spirit high at a high-octane IQ level. Both are very close to his heart, as he strongly believes that these are fundamental stepping stones to who he is and what he stands for.

Key Advice for Aspiring Leaders

He believes that aspiring leaders looking to dive into the startup space have a unique opportunity to catalyze India’s economic growth. Arijit’s advice centers on embracing innovation, understanding your market deeply, and being resilient.

Innovation isn’t just about offering something new; it’s about solving real problems in ways that are both effective and scalable. Ground your venture on a thorough understanding of your target market’s needs, preferences, and behaviors. This insight is invaluable and will guide your product development, marketing strategies, and customer service excellence.

Resilience is perhaps the most crucial trait for an entrepreneur. The path of innovation is fraught with challenges and setbacks. Embrace them as learning opportunities and remain steadfast in your vision. Collaborate, seek mentorship, and be open to pivoting your strategy when necessary. Remember, the most successful startups are those that contribute value to their communities and economies. Your venture has the potential not just to succeed financially but to make a significant impact on India’s economic landscape.

Time and Cost Savings with New Industrial Product Launch

Veedol has launched a premium and value-added range of industrial penetrants and degreasers in India in association with the world-famous USA-based brand B’laster. This will change the shape of their solution-oriented and value-added product offerings and make life for their industrial customers much easier with a lot of time and cost savings for such difficult applications.