Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Aug 27, 2004
Gulf Oil plans to boost exports
Pratim Ranjan Bose
Kolkata , Aug. 26
GULF Oil Corporation Ltd has set its eyes on exports to enhance the profitability of the lubricants division.
Concentrating on the ASEAN markets and Africa, Gulf Oil expects to increase exports to 10 per cent of turnover in the next three years. The Rs 240-crore division now exports lubricants worth a little over Rs 2 crore.
A Hinduja group company, Gulf Oil, has registered a turnover of Rs 450 crore, including both the lubricants and explosives business during the last fiscal.
Company sources said that apart from direct exports, a substantial part of overseas trade is routed through the Gulf's outfits in Bangladesh and China.
"We are providing technical and material support to the outfits."
At home, the company has set a steep target of 35 per cent sales growth in this fiscal. While major campaign initiatives are underway to enhance its brand equity, efforts are on to tie up with automotive component manufacturers for cross leveraging of distribution network.
Though the company's domestic growth prospects have to some extent been affected for not having a presence in the petroleum retail outlet sector in the country, the sources said that there was "enough head room available in the existing direct marketing strategy."
To expand its reach, the company was trying to spread its presence in a number of automotive segments, including maintenance servicing.
The Gulf Automobile Maintenance Service or GAMS, which was now operational in Bangalore and Delhi, would soon be launched in Pune and Mumbai.
While Castrol had tied up with Essar Oil to sell lubes in petroleum retail outlets, Gulf has been test-marketing its car-care products in four Essar outlets in Mumbai.
However, the company is going slow with its previous plan to launch a slew of new automotive products, including batteries through outsourcing.
Stating that the company was taking time to identify the right products, sources said: "we are currently holding six per cent of the lube market. We surely want to enhance it but not at the cost of our bottom line".
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