Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Jul 16, 2005
Marketing - Strategy
BPCL to move beyond `convenient' retailing with vehicle care centres
Coimbatore , July 15
THE public sector Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) is looking beyond retailing of petroleum products.
The corporation's `convenient' retail outlets across the country will soon accommodate vehicle care centres to diagnose engine problems.
BPCL has plans to set up vehicle care centres in about 500 retail outlets that have adequate space to accommodate garages, according to Mr S. Radhakrishnan, Director (Marketing), BPCL.
Talking to Business Line, he said these centres essentially to target four-wheelers would, in select cases, provide servicing for heavy vehicles as well as two-wheelers .
The company also plans to set up about 20 such centres exclusively for heavy vehicles and about 15 vehicle care centres for Hero Honda two-wheelers.
The company also proposes to widen the contents under its `one-stop-truck-stores' (OSTS) attached outlets.
"We have introduced tele-medicine facility in our Chennai (Maraimalai Nagar) OSTS in association with the Kovai Medical Centre and Hospital for which the corporation has obtained the necessary software package from Tata Consultancy Services. We are looking at the scope to extend the tele-medicine facility to all the existing 70-odd OSTS, subject to the availability/willingness of the hospital to participate in such ventures," said Mr S. Varadarajan, General Manager (Retail), BPCL southern region.
Mr Radhakrishnan and Mr Varadarajan who were here to participate at the inauguration of a refurbished retail outlet with the `retail visual manifestation' (RVM) concept in the city's arterial Avanashi Road here said that concept retailing has aided in realising a higher business turnover. As against the normal sale of around 200 kl in a retail outlet, the OSTS attached outlets could notch up a sales volume ranging from 600-700 kl.
According to them, the Maraimalai Nagar OSTScould market up to 1,300 kl of petroleum products.
Mr Radhakrishnan said the concept marketing of `Beyond LPG' launched under its LPG distribution network, in which the distributors are permitted to sell diverse household goods such as pressure cookers, diesel generating sets, vacuum cleaners and pest-control items, has led to a turnover of Rs 65 crore and proved a viable strategic business proposition for the corporation.
Of the 1,800 LPG distribution points, 900 are involved in the `Beyond LPG' marketing. The company expects the concept to percolate to more outlets.
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