Fri, 13/07/2018 - 05:10
Current Issue 34
Driven by Diversification
Oman Oil Marketing Company’s localised commitment to customer satisfaction is now reaping rewards on a regional level as its diverse offering continues to open up opportunities
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Josh Hyland
Since 2003, Oman Oil Marketing Company has evolved in line with enriching, responsible values in order to become the Sultanate’s fuel marketing leader.
Providing customers with a host of services that compare to anywhere in the world, the identity formed over the past 15 years now resonates on an international level, and since its share acquisition of BP Oman, the business has gone on to thrive as the only 100 percent Omani-owned fuel marketing entity.
“Oman Oil Marketing is a public listed company where Oman Oil Company owns 49 percent of the shares and the rest is owned by various shareholders,” further introduces Chief Executive Officer, David Kalife. “However, Oman Oil Marketing doesn’t solely market fuels, but instead has a wide range of products and services.
“These additional company strands include direct bulk fuel sales to government and commercial sectors; shop, food and services attached to the Company’s service stations; lubricants; aviation refuelling; marine refuelling; and storage & distribution services.”
Diversification has formed a critical component of Oman Oil Marketing’s continuous improvement strategy, and in support of the business’s long-term objectives, the ever-expanding business unit portfolio has gone on to provide significant efficiencies across the overall Group strategy as knowledge-bases increase and the clientele broadens.
“While adhering to the best international practices, we innovate across more and better goods and services on a continuous basis,” Kalife continues. “We are now located across the country with more than 200 service stations all over Oman and are also expanding regionally through the opening of our first service station in Saudi Arabia which is expected to be in the fourth quarter of 2018.”
Consequently, covering retail, commercial, aviation, marine and lubricants verticals, Oman Oil Marketing Company can truly promote itself as a one-stop shop; and such scope has inevitably transcended into a vaster geographic footprint and export reach too.
Kalife continues: “We are successfully developing our sales in all segments of lubricants and in new countries like Kenya, Qatar and Bahrain. In aviation we have been awarded the tender of Oman Air for two years. In commercial we are partnering with CC Energy and National Drilling Company; while we have also innovated through new solutions like mobile containers and more to be offered soon.
“For the marine sector we have provided bunkering services in the Port of Duqm since 2014, successfully supplying a wide variety of international marine customers, including commercial ships and military vessels.”
Every strategic expansion and diversification has derived from the business’s unwavering dedication to customer satisfaction, aiming to provide as much of a turnkey array as possible. Unrivalled quality of goods and services then seals the deal as far as custom is concerned.
Internal monitoring is compounded by external audits to ensure that this quality is achieved consistently; then complemented by a quality assurance unit which is responsible for overseeing all levels of operations.
“Customer-centricity is a strategy we applied in order to exceed customer expectation, walking the extra mile to fulfil the customers’ wants,” Kalife says. “We believe in diversifying services and exceeding customer expectations while leading the market through introducing new services to transform our service stations to a hub of services, so our customers can enjoy a diversified offering.”
Kalife goes on to emphasise the importance of becoming more technical and vigilant when it comes to analysing consumer trends; encouraging customers to participate in the OOMCO journey and choose it as their unique business partner.
On an internal note, such a proactive approach can be seen through its ongoing capital investments, most recently evidenced by eight new sites opened up in 2017, and an additional three existing sites being revamped.
“In 2018 we have opened five new sites so far, while nine service stations are under construction in different regions,” Kalife adds. “As part of our new SFS strategy Oman Oil Marketing Company has added new goods and services including the introduction of our ‘Ahlain Café’ as well as many quick service restaurants, car washes and numerous other services expected to deliver returns as they bring better benefits to our beloved customers.
“We spare no effort in innovating and introducing new services to our customers, and these have also recently included two-sided pumps at our service stations; mobile containers for commercial customers; the introduction of a new fuel called Ultimax (98 octane) offered only by us; and the introduction of a Café Amazon franchise whose mission is to provide customers with a unique coffee blend, and a variety of drinks and snacks in a green, relaxing environment.”
A complete one-stop shop
Oman Oil Marketing Company was also the first marketer to offer three solar service stations in recent months, with a further three earmarked for the remainder of 2018. The Company wasthe first among the fuel marketing industry to inaugurate a solar powered service station in Oman at Burj al Sahwa, linked directly to the electricity distribution network. In agreement with the Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER), the power generated from the service station’s solar panels can be powered back into the grid.
This not only demonstrates OOMCO’s widespread capabilities, but also its commitment to local enrichment; a notion that is also seen strongly within its local-centric HR strategy.
“We have 268 employees and an Omanization rate of 84 percent,” Kalife affirms. “We believe in growing our employees’ skills through sound training programme, off the back of skill-gap analyses that is carried out on every individual.
“While some training programmes are executed by specialised training institutes we have also created our own Training Academy with both external and internal speakers, as nobody knows our job, challenges and the needs of our people better than we do. We also started online training programmes whenever deemed efficient for our colleagues, alongside a mentorship programme where general managers can guide mentees on a month-by-month basis.”
With heightened market prominence also comes increased responsibility from this corporate social responsibility perspective, but it’s never something that OOMCO has hid away from. Rather, upliftment is a key pillar of the Company’s growth strategy; its SME partnerships and affiliations serving as an apt example of this local influence.
“We believe in expanding our network and being close to our customers by becoming the favourable destination for their requirements; offering a comprehensive set of services to be a complete one-stop shop,” Kalife concludes. “We believe in differentiating ourselves by seeking excellence at all times in line with what our customers need.
“This will continue to be our philosophy moving forward and in conjunction with our 10-year plan we will look to develop projects both in Oman and abroad, for fuels, non-fuels and for lubricants, in order to improve OOMCO and to foster the next generation of Omani leaders through the diversity of our initiatives.”