1.1 INDIAN PETROLEUM SECTOR
Management of retail business is the key determining factor in the success of any business. To gain a sustainable competitive advantage, a retailer needs to understand and satisfy the customer’s needs. This principle holds true in petroleum retailing too. All efforts at exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing finally conclude at the retail point after moving through long complicated supply chain. The downstream business is extremely complicated and of substantial strategic importance to the national economy. Oil products, especially transportation fuels, play a key role in the national economic growth. This is what makes the retail business exiting and challenging. It demands continuous efforts at improvement of product and services as well as higher customer satisfaction.
The business environment in India has undergone many significant changes in the past few years, and nowhere is it as distinct as in the petroleum sector. Increase in refining capacity has transformed India from a net importer to net exporter of petroleum products. Petroleum marketing has been allowed the entry of new domestic and international players into the sectors. Government have provided operational freedom to the government oil companies in a host of areas including determining their own market share, freedom to prepare and implement their market plans, selection of dealers etc. We are also gradually moving towards a market-determined pricing regime in letter and spirit. This liberalized scenario is making the sector intensely competitive, and the oil companies, especially those in the public sector need to adopt a more customer-focused approach to the retail end of their business.
The government is conscious of the need to encourage a disciplined and responsible market, besides providing the basic framework for a liberal, decontrolled petroleum sector. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory... [continues]
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