Reliance Industries to restart all fuel pump outlets by March 2016

New Delhi: Buoyed by diesel price decontrol, Reliance Industries will reopen all its 1,400 petrol pumps this fiscal. 
RIL and Essar Oil Ltd, the only other private refiner in India, had together captured about 17% of domestic retail market for diesel and 10% of petrol by 2006 before heavily subsidised sales by state-run firms took a heavy toll on private firms’ fuel sales. 

Over 320 retail outlets already operational. Target restart of entire network of 1,400 outlets in FY16,” RIL said in an investor presentation post announcing third quarter earnings. 

RIL had shut down all of its 1,432 petrol pumps around March 2008 because of huge losses it incurred in trying to match public sector firms, which sold fuel at rates much lower than their cost as they got government subsidies. 

The government in June 2010 deregulated or freed petrol pricing by not providing any more subsidies. This allowed Essar to re-enter the retailing arena, selling only petrol from most of its 1,400 outlets. 

Diesel, India’s most consumed fuel, was deregulated in October last year and since then the private retailers have again entered the market. 

Essar started diesel sales from all its outlets and has expanded its network to 1,600, which is likely to go up to 2,500 in one year’s time. 

“Target aggressive volumes in the bulk diesel market post de-regulation,” RIL said. 

The firm had in 2006 touched a market share of 14.3% in diesel and 7.2% in petrol. 
The company said it will leverage technology to provide superior customer value across the network. “Consistent customer experience across all touch points through efficient mix of people, processes and technology.” 

RIL had captured the market share in 2006 by owning just 4% of the total petrol pumps in the country. State-run retailers have since then swelled the network to 51,870. 

The company is again starting the fleet management programme wherein large fleet operators like truckers are given smartcards which their drivers could use for buying fuel without cash with deliveries that can be monitored online, thereby eliminating pilferage or theft. 

“Fleet management programme providing better fleet control, cash flow management and cashless transactions,” RIL said, adding that customised loyalty programme for different customer segments will also be launched. 
RIL’s present network comprises of about 900 retail outlets that are owned by the company and the rest by dealers. 


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