Reliance Industries (RIL) has begun the year on a positive note with the reopening of their fuel stations. One-fifth of its 1,400 fuel stations have been commissioned after the deregulation in diesel prices. The Union Government had announced decontrolled diesel prices in October last year,thus encouraging private enterprises to re-enter the market.
By 2006, approximately 17% for diesel and 10% for petrol of the domestic retail market was dominated by RIL and Essar Oil Ltd, the only other private refiner in India. However the subsidization of sales by firms run by the state majorly affected fuel sales by private firms.
In an investor presentation made after announcing its third-quarter earnings, RIL announced that 230 petrol pump outlets were already commissioned and that they plan to commission the entire network within a year.
Deregulation of Fuel Prices
In June 2010, the government deregulated petrol prices in a bid to cut down fuel subsidies. This resulted in Essar regaining entry into the retailing arena and selling just petrol through a majority of its 1,400 outlets.
The deregulation of diesel, the most heavily consumed fuel in India, in 2014 led to private retailers entering the market once again.
Plan of Action
RIL had achieved a market share of 14.3% in diesel and 7.2% in petrol in 2006 and the target is to replicate the same performance levels. The company will also launch aggressive consumer schemes to quickly ramp up of volumes.
Building on its motto of “Right Quantity and Quality of fuel at the Right Price”, the company will employ superior technology that delivers unmatched customer value across the network.
In 2006, the Mukesh Ambani-run RIL owned just 4% of the total petrol stations that existed in the country.Since then the network of petrol stations has been augmented to 51,870 by State-run retailers.
Several company-owned fuel pumps have already commenced operations. 150 dealer-operated pumps owned by either dealers or RIL itself are expected to re-open in the next stage.
RIL’s Fleet Management
The company will also re-startits fleet management program, in which where large fleet operators will be supplied smart cards that allow their drivers to buy fuel without cash payment. These deliveries will be monitored online to avoid pilferage or theft.
The Fleet management program will help customers with fleet control, cash flow management, cashless transactions and information. In addition to the fleet management program, RIL will soon launch customized loyalty programs for different customer segments.
RIL further added that an aggressive automated instant reward scheme would be introduced to gain a competitive edge.Currently, 900 retail outlets are owned by the company and are part of RIL’s network while dealers own the rest.