Indian Oil SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by Indian Oil managers to do a situational analysis of the firm . It is a handy technique to evalauate the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Indian Oil is facing in its current business environment.

The Indian Oil is one of the leading firms in its industry. Indian Oil maintains its dominant position in market by critically analyzing and reviewing the SWOT analysis.  SWOT analysis an immensenly interactive process and requires effective coordination among various departments within the organization such as – marketing, finance, operations, management information systems and strategic planning.

The SWOT Analysis framework enables an organization to identify the internal strategic factors such as -strengths and weaknesses, & external strategic factors such as - opportunities and threats. It leads to a 2X2 matrix – also called SWOT Matrix.

The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix helps the managers of the Indian Oil to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
Indian Oil swot analysis / matrix

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The core purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a firm can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Indian Oil strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Indian Oil SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Indian Oil – Internal Strategic Factors


As one of the leading companies in its industry, Indian Oil has numerous strengths that enable it to thrive in the market place. These strengths not only help it to protect the market share in existing markets but also help in penetrating new markets. Based on Fern Fort University extensive research – some of the strengths of Indian Oil are –

  • Strong Free Cash Flow – Indian Oil has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
  • Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
  • Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Indian Oil has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Indian Oil just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
  • Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Indian Oil products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
  • High level of customer satisfaction – the company with its dedicated customer relationship management department has able to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction among present customers and good brand equity among the potential customers.
  • Strong distribution network – Over the years Indian Oil has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Indian Oil is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.


Weakness of Indian Oil – Internal Strategic Factors


Weakness are the areas where Indian Oil can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where an organization can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.

  • Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Indian Oil needs to put more money in technology to integrate the processes across the board. Right now the investment in technologies is not at par with the vision of the company.
  • Days inventory is high compare to the competitors – making the company raise more capital to invest in the channel. This can impact the long term growth of Indian Oil
  • Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though Indian Oil is spending above the industry average on Research and Development, it has not been able to compete with the leading players in the industry in terms of innovation. It has come across as a mature firm looking forward to bring out products based on tested features in the market.
  • High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry Indian Oil has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
  • Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Indian Oil is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
  • Not very good at product demand forecasting leading to higher rate of missed opportunities compare to its competitors. One of the reason why the days inventory is high compare to its competitors is that Indian Oil is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
  • There are gaps in the product range sold by the company. This lack of choice can give a new competitor a foothold in the market.

Opportunities for Indian Oil – External Strategic Factors

  • Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Indian Oil.
  • Organization’s core competencies can be a success in similar other products field. A comparative example could be - GE healthcare research helped it in developing better Oil drilling machines.
  • New customers from online channel – Over the past few years the company has invested vast sum of money into the online platform. This investment has opened new sales channel for Indian Oil. In the next few years the company can leverage this opportunity by knowing its customer better and serving their needs using big data analytics.
  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Indian Oil . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
  • The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Indian Oil to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
  • Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Indian Oil products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
  • New environmental policies – The new opportunities will create a level playing field for all the players in the industry. It represent a great opportunity for Indian Oil to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
  • Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Indian Oil to capture new customers and increase its market share.

Threats Indian Oil Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
  • Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Indian Oil’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
  • New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
  • New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
  • As the company is operating in numerous countries it is exposed to currency fluctuations especially given the volatile political climate in number of markets across the world.
  • Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Indian Oil profitability.
  • Liability laws in different countries are different and Indian Oil may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
  • No regular supply of innovative products – Over the years the company has developed numerous products but those are often response to the development by other players. Secondly the supply of new products is not regular thus leading to high and low swings in the sales number over period of time.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Indian Oil

Although the SWOT analysis is widely used as a strategic planning tool, the analysis does have its share of limitations.

  • Certain capabilities or factors of an organization can be both a strength and weakness at the same time. This is one of the major limitations of SWOT analysis . For example changing environmental regulations can be both a threat to company it can also be an opportunity in a sense that it will enable the company to be on a level playing field or at advantage to competitors if it able to develop the products faster than the competitors.
  • SWOT does not show how to achieve a competitive advantage, so it must not be an end in itself.
  • The matrix is only a starting point for a discussion on how proposed strategies could be implemented. It provided an evaluation window but not an implementation plan based on strategic competitiveness of Indian Oil
  • SWOT is a static assessment - analysis of status quo with few prospective changes. As circumstances, capabilities, threats, and strategies change, the dynamics of a competitive environment may not be revealed in a single matrix.
  • SWOT analysis may lead the firm to overemphasize a single internal or external factor in formulating strategies. There are interrelationships among the key internal and external factors that SWOT does not reveal that may be important in devising strategies.

Weighted SWOT Analysis of Indian Oil

In light of the above mentioned limitations of the SWOT analysis / matrix, corporate managers decided to provide weightage to each internal strength and weakness of the firm. Organizations also assess the likelihood of events taking place in the coming future and how strong their impact could be on company's performance.

This method is called Weighted SWOT analysis. It is better than doing simplistic SWOT analysis because with Weighted SWOT Analysis Indian Oil managers can focus on the most critical factors and discount the non-important one. It also solves the long list problem where organizations ends up making a long list but none of the factors deemed too critical.

Limitation of Weighted SWOT analysis of Indian Oil

This approach also suffers from one major drawback - it focus on individual importance of factor rather than how they are collectively important and impact the business holistically.

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Example of Weighted SWOT Analysis

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SWOT Worksheet & Template

If you like to do your own SWOT analysis or want to make your own Weighted SWOT SWOT matrix then feel free to download Fern Fort University SWOT Analysis Template.


References / Citations & Bibliography

  • M. E. Porter, Competitive Strategy(New York: Free Press, 1980)
  • A. D. Chandler, Strategy and Structure (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1962)
  • O. E. Williamson, Markets and Hierarchies(New York: Free Press, 1975);
  • L. Wrigley, Divisional Autonomy and Diversification (PhD, Harvard Business School, 1970)
  • R. E. White, Generic Business Strategies, Organizational Context and Performance: An Empirical Investigation, Strategic Management Journal7 (1986)