Shell has reopened its 77th retail outlet in India, located in the Rakhial area of Ahmedabad City, Gujarat, following the deregulation of diesel fuel prices in the country last October. Shell now has re-established its retail presence in six key states–Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Assam.
Out of the 77 retail outlets that have been reopened, 20 of those are located in Gujarat. Although, with a population of more than 60 million, Gujarat has a lower population density than other Indian states, it is home to some of the largest corporations in the country and a major industrial hub, including oil refineries owned by Indian Oil Corp. (IOC), Essar Oil and Reliance Industries. Shell said that 10 of its retail outlets are located in Ahmedabad, one of Gujarat’s major cities.
Private retailers such as Shell, Essar Oil and Reliance Industries were forced to shutter their retail operations several years back, as they were unable to match the retail prices being offered by India’s public sector undertakings or PSUs, who were receiving fuel subsidies from the government.
Of the 53,419 oil retail outlets in the country, more than 50,000 are either owned or affiliated with PSUs like IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL). So far, RIL has reopened 1,400 outlets, while Essar Oil has reopened 1,491.
Commenting on the launch of the Rakhial location, Ravi Sundararajan, general manager, Shell Retail India said, “The regulatory environment is getting increasingly conducive for fuel retail business in India, especially after the diesel deregulation that took place last year.” Petrol prices were deregulated earlier, in June 2010.
“We are delighted to reconvene our services at Rakhial and strengthen our footprint in Gujarat in line with our growth strategy for India,” Sundararajan said.
Shell V-Power, the premium performance petrol recently launched in the Indian market, will also be available at the Rakhial outlet along with the main-grade petrol and diesel variants. In addition, the outlet will also offer free engine oil service for bikers.