IOC winning the petrol station war against PSU rivals

Vol 8, PW 7 (30 Jun 04) Midstream & Downstream

Latest industry data seen by PETROWATCH reveals that Indian Oil is eating into the retail market share in petrol and diesel of Hindustan and Bharat Petroleum.

All India sales figures for April and May show that Indian Oil and its subsidiary IBP have increased their petrol market share by 0.5% and 0.9% respectively while Bharat Petroleum has lost petrol market share by 1.2%. Hindustan Petroleums petrol market share has come down by 0.4%.

Its the same story for diesel sales. Indian Oils market share rose by 0.5% while IBPs rose by 1.1%.

Hindustan Petroleum lost 0.6% and Bharat Petroleum lost 0.8% diesel market share. These are industry agreed figures and not cooked up by us, says an Indian Oil source.

This trend is continuing in June. Indian Oil attributes its increased market share to: Better service at the forecourt of retail outlets; better quality and (correct) quantity of fuels; and, new, superior products like 93 octane.

The maximum gain for Indian Oil is in the Delhi to Haryana market where its April and May petrol sales rose by 1.4% and diesel sales rose by 2.3%. Indian Oil says it is a late entrant to the branding of retail outlets and products compared to Hindustan and Bharat Petroleum.

We have been slow in modernising our retail infrastructure but we are catching up, adds a source. We have some problems with petrol stations in Punjab but they are being attended to.

Indian Oil feels its competitors had an early start but they have now run out of steam. BPCLs Pure for Sure campaign has lived its life.

Now they are talking of putting up swimming pools at retail outlets. Indian Oil says this is a ridiculous idea.

Do you go to a petrol station to swim or to fill up fuel and move on If you want to swim you will go to a resort or to a club. But if BPCL wants to convert its petrol pumps to resorts then the fuel business in such places becomes incidental.

HPCLs Club HP and Power campaigns, adds Indian Oil, have only confused customers. We wonder how many people know what is meant by Club HP.