IBP reworks strategy to emerge leader in petro-retailing sector

Mumbai: Indo-Burmah Petroleum (IBP), the Indian public sector oil-marketing company, is reworking its marketing initiatives to emerge as a major player in the petroleum-retailing sector following its takeover by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). IBP has set up a retail merchandising division to scout for partners to set up convenience stores at its retail outlets.

“The retail-merchandising division will look into opportunities for converting the existing retail outlets into one-stop convenience stores where consumer goods and services will be available. We are already holding talks with leading brands like Amul and McDonalds for setting up their franchisee outlets within the fuel pump compound,” says an IBP director.

“Like the other petro companies, we have also introduced our own branded petrol and diesel variants called Josh and Shakti. But we are not making much noise about it unlike some of our competitors and we promote them only at those outlets where they are available. Branded fuels are currently available at select outlets in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Noida. We will reach out to other locations only when we are confident of maintaining the consistency of the additive-based fuels,” he adds.

The only standalone petroleum marketing company in the country is also looking beyond the traditional retail market and is now eyeing institutional sales. IBP has already tied up with Sahara Airlines and Jet Airways.

During the current financial year, IBP will set up over 300 retail outlets. The company currently boasts of having 1,809 retail outlets under its umbrella. While IOC, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) are known for their high-profile campaigns, IBP does not aggressively promote any of its products and services.

The company has also tied up with Kerala and Andhra Pradesh travel and tourism departments to set up motels and retail outlets. It also has an agreement with Cummins Auto Services to establish 49 truck service centres and support services at an investment of Rs 120 crore.