Keeping Bihar's rapid growth prospects in mind, Fortune 500 Company — Indian Oil Corporation - has decided to invest Rs 295 crore to further entrench itself in the states of Bihar and Jharkhand.
Out of this, Rs 117 crore would be spent on marketing infrastructure, including the setting up of two new LPG bottling plants at Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur at a total cost of Rs 81crore, Rs 90 crore on Patna-Raxaul and Raxaul-Amlekganj pipelines and Rs 88 crore on Barauni Refinery which would have a new bitumen drum filling plant and enhanced storage capacity.
GC Daga, director (marketing), IOC, who was here on his maiden visit, said, "Bihar is vital to the future plans of the country’s number one oil company. And hence, we would be spending Rs 40 crore on expanding our retail and distribution network, introducing world class automated refilling and service stations and auto LPG dispensing stations, besides Kisan Sewa Kendras for the benefit of farmers."
Daga said the IOC was not only the 21st largest petroleum company in the world but also ranked 153rd in the list of Fortune 500 companies. As such, it was imperative that the IOC did not only scale up its operations but also set new benchmark in service and innovation, said Daga, who inaugurated the first fully automated petrol pump at Barauni earlier in the day.
This retail outlet would maintain strict quantity reconciliation checks through computers.
In the first phase, 10 petrol pumps would be fully automated and the number would be expanded to 75 by the year-end in the state and 2000 in the country. Four auto-LPG dispensing outlets would be set up in the State out of the 107 proposed in the country.
"These would be in addition to 30 new retail outlets and 75 kisan sewa kendras, which endeavours to supply quality oil at the nearest possible destination and also make products of daily use available," Daga said.
However, the biggest change undertaken by the oil behemoth is the attempted tie-up with upcoming malls for setting up 250 upmarket Servo Express Shops. In Bihar and Jharkhand the facilities would be introduced both at shopping malls and retail outlets that would entitle a customer to have servicing entitlement as spin off of purchases made at these shops.
In a bid to check adulteration, the IOC, he said, has introduced markers for kerosene oil, use automation for controlling supply and sale and third party certification system for quality assurance.
While the IOC commands 60 per cent of the petroleum products consumed in Bihar it also contributes Rs 820 crore to the state exchequer. "Introduction of the loyalty programme for cash purchases would further push up sales. The scheme presently introduced in Bangalore would be launched shortly in the state," Daga said.