India’s private sector oil company, Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), will leverage its retail experience by merging its fuel retail business with its retail business. This will enable the company to expand its retail offerings at its 361 company-owned and operated service stations.
“It is no longer simply a petrol pump. Today, what you can do with fuel retail outlets by virtue of the synergies make it a more consumer facing business, that is why we are clubbing it with retail,” said V Srikanth, Reliance Industries’ joint chief financial officer.
Reliance Retail operates 3,383 stores across 679 cities in India, with a selling area of more than 13 million square feet. Reliance Retail serves more than 2.5 million customers every week, and its loyalty programme, Reliance One, has the patronage of more than 6.75 million customers. Reliance Retail currently represents less than 10% of the company’s total turnover, however.
Private sector oil companies like Reliance Industries and Essar Oil plan to expand their oil retail business, after the Indian government deregulated diesel fuel prices in October 2014.
Reliance Industries plans to restart its fuel retail outlets, which total 1,500, including dealer-owned and operated, by the end of this current fiscal year.
India’s oil retail sector is dominated by public sector oil marketing companies such as Indian Oil Corp., Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum.