Bharat Petroleum to invest Rs.6 billion in retail


Mumbai : In a bid to expand its presence in the expanding Indian retail market, the state-run oil major Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) Wednesday said that the company will invest Rs.6 billion in retail over the next five years.

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The BPCL plans to set up about 250 retail outlets called “Ghar” to sell its fuel products. These outlets would also offer customers non-fuel facilities like shopping, entertainment and eateries.

The outlets will initially be opened along major highways in urban areas, a senior official told reporters Wednesday.

“We are planning to open around 250 outlets, each having a ‘dhaba’ kind of ambiance, offering shopping and entertainment experience,” said Subankar Sen, BPCL’s senior manager of allied retail business.

“At present we have 16 such outlets across the country, each with 40 percent fuel-based business and the reminder comprising non-fuel activities like shopping, entertainment and eateries.”

The outlets will mostly be built on highways and land requirement for each unit would be about five acres. The cost of the project is pegged at Rs.6 billion, said Sen.

“The company is primarily focusing on urban areas, keeping in view the increasing number of people travelling on highways, and travellers becoming more demanding,” said the BPCL retail chief.

“People want quality food along with high standards of hygiene. Customers are so discerning that they demand and expect quality food and merchandise as they are used to get in restaurants and other retail outlets in urban areas. People do not want to compromise on quality or hygiene just because food is available on the roadside,” Sen pointed out.

“We want to tap future opportunities in the exponential growth in retail.”