IOC to spend Rs 330 cr on retail outlets

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Bangalore, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) will spend over Rs 330 crore to automate 2,000 of its 16,000 retail outlets in the country, to start with, in the next few months.

While covering the remaining outlets as well later to eliminate possibility of adulteration or short changing, the company also proposes to use these retail avenues for generating non fuel revenue.

IOC's Director, Marketing, G. C. Daga,said, "We are selecting outlets with 200 kilo litres or more monthly sales to start with. By September 2007, 1,250 outlets will be automated with an investment of Rs. 169 crore. The second phase, to be completed by mid-2008, will cover 1,178 petrol stations involving an investment of Rs. 163 crore."

The automation initiative is likely to be linked to the GPS-based tracking system of tankers from the depot to the retail outlet point and will also help inventory control.

IOC is expanding its overseas operations in a big way. A Rs. 25-crore lube blending plant with a capacity of 18,000 tonnes annually was coming up in Sri Lanka and the subsidiary in Dubai had expanded its lubes sales across the Gulf region, Mr. Daga said. Talks were on with a consortium in Turkey for an oil pipeline venture.

The LPG outlets for three-wheelers opened in Bangalore had expanded geographically to cover 42 major cities and 120 outlets with a sales growth of 80 per cent in 2006-07.

IOC earlier launched here its first cash loyalty reward programme, the XtraRewards cards, with veteran badminton champion, Prakash Padukone, receiving the first card.Those using credit/debit cards can also join the loyalty programme. The card is backed by Tata Indicom and HDFC Bank.

XtraRewards, as the scheme is called, cash, credit and debit card customers would be able to add value to their purchases by piling up loyalty points. The scheme has been launched in association with Rediff shopping, Domino Pizza, JK Tyres and MTR Foods, to name a few.

Initially IOC has launched XtraRewards in Bangalore and will spread it to other parts of the country later in the process cashing in on the opportunity to increase sales through this marketing strategy.

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