Bharat Petroleum says it plans to revamp its non-fuel retail operations

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.’s (BPCL) plans to revamp its non-fuel retail operations, which now fetch less than 1% of the firm’s revenues. India’s state-owned oil marketing company (OMC) has 12,500 fuel outlets around the country. Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has been hired to revamp BPCL’s fresh In & Out convenience stores and quick-service restaurant (QSR) outlets, as well as its loyalty program and its lubricants business.

Financial Express reported that BPCL’s top team believes a separate strategic business unit (SBU) may be necessary to run its non-fuel retail operations.

George Paul, executive director, retail, said that BPCL was looking to monetise the non-fuel business, making it a big enabler to grow the company’s fuel operations. “Earlier, the non- fuel businesses were treated like any other initiative. But now it’s a strategic business proposition because this could help customer retention,” Paul said.

The initiative will not just be restricted to offering food or merchandise; financial and banking services. E-sevakendras and Aadhaar centres also are being contemplated. BPCL has joined hands with Amazon to set up pick- up points at some of its outlets to test whether the model will work.

“We are in a vantage position and can designate these as Amazon pick-up points. At the end of the day e-commerce companies need to have a brick and mortar logistics network and we’re well positioned for that,” Paul said.

Paul pointed out that several large retailers were struggling since they needed to maintain stores on high streets at high rentals. “We already have 12,500 fuel outlets where we can potentially open up stores. We already have stores earning INR 400 (USD 6.29) per square feet in locations like Delhi,” he said.