Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited to create movie halls at petrol pumps

Mumbai: Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) has launched a pilot project to construct cinema halls at its petrol pumps along national highways, as part of a strategy to derive 30 per cent of its revenues from non-fuel sales.

Situated in the vicinity of BPCL's 'Ghar' petrol pumps, the halls will screen movies and programming beamed via a satellite network.

According to Keshav Shenoy, general manager, highway retailing, BPCL, this will directly increase non-fuel revenues for the company. BPCL is aiming at road travellers, in addition to localised communities to partake in its entertainment offerings.

George Paul, general manager, says that gradually, BPCL's petrol pumps are becoming happening places, and the company needs to leverage its customers for non-fuel revenues, which offset a large degree of risk that arises from government administered fuel prices which are later compensated by the ministry through issue of oil bonds.

For the venture, BPCL has partnered Cinemata, a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Television, to source content for its amphitheatres, which will be open-air so as not to 'intimidate' customers, and which will accommodate a seating capacity for 200 people.

BPCL has 7,800 fuel outlets across India, and presently makes about Rs 180 crore from these initiatives, with margins ranging from 7-8 per cent. Some pumps at prime locations near New Delhi earn about Rs 140 per square feet, which is a major accomplishment for the PSU oil major.