Lanka IOC Wants Bigger Slice of Pie

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Lanka IOC said it expects to increase its share of the Sri Lanka engine oil market from 17 percent to 23 percent by building more fuel stations. The independently operating Indian Oil Corp. subsidiary also plans to export lubes to Southeast Asia.

The Sri Lankan company said it will invest 1.4 billion Sri Lankan rupees (approximately U.S. $10.4 million) to build new fuel stations and refurbish existing ones throughout the country. Its goal is to increase its market share of fuels, but also to seize 6 percent more of Sri Lankas motor oils market.

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Ceylon Petroleum Corp. and other lubricant players in the country are striving to increase their market share, Managing Director Subodh Dakwale told Lube Report Asia. The government also began allowing more foreign companies to obtain licensees to blend and sell lubricants in the country, increasing the competition. Lanka IOC has to run to remain in the race, Dakwale said.

Lubricants market share cannot be increased overnight, Dakwale noted. The Colombo-based subsidiary is working on a strategy for lubricants that includes a promotional campaign utilizing the expanded fuel station network as retail points and a rebranding of Lanka IOC lubricants planned in the new financial year.

The company also plans to export lubricants to Indonesia and Malaysia soon, Dakwale added. The first push will be to test the markets, although he said he believes that export markets will open up new revenue opportunities over the longer term.

Dakwale said the companys board of directors, which operates independently from parent company Indian Oil, pegged Malaysia and Indonesia as relatively close, promising markets. The company has also surveyed the markets of Myanmar and Bangladesh and has identified distributors in almost all the Southeast Asian countries it has explored.