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  Profile  SHAMA AHMED
 Corporate Profile   SONERI BANK LIMITED



May 06 -12, 2002

Pakistan State Oil (PSO), the largest oil marketing company (OMC) of Pakistan, has witnessed a major turnaround in the last three years. Despite its huge volumes and high earnings, the company was identified in the past with ineffectiveness, declining returns on investment and for having a generally inauspicious image among its customers factors that were leading to consistent erosion in the market share of PSO's key products to the company's multinational competitors.

With the present government's emphasis on revitalizing the public sector organizations and reorganizing them on professional grounds, the PSO Board of Management was reconstituted with professionals from the private and public sector. The board was then given the mandate of running the company independently. The Board through its Audit & Human Resource committees ensures complete transparency in financial and other aspects of management.

The new management then took a variety of new initiatives to regain the company's 1eadership position. At heart of this effort was the New Vision Retail Development program that entailed the development of tastefully designed outlets at strategic locations throughout the country. Equipped with most modern facilities like electronic dispensing units, convenience stores, Business Centers and, most of all, a more customer friendly staff, these outlets have gone a long way in restoring the customer confidence in PSO. In addition to this, various new products and services like CNG stations, PSO CNG Oil, Mobile Quick Oil Change and Mobile Quality Testing Units have led to considerable improvement in the company's standing in the market. So far, 356 New Vision stations have been established and the number would expand further in the coming years.

These initiatives have been supported by strong marketing and sales promotion campaigns, resulting in increased market share and profitability for the company. Despite adverse economic situation, PSO has been able to maintain its profitability and has been declaring record dividends for its shareholders.

To support this new verve in marketing and sales promotion, PSO has been consistently improving its storage facilities. Its 26 depots and nine installations spread throughout the country, having a total capacity of about 800,000 metric tons, are not only its traditional source of strength but also hold vital importance in the country's overall strategic economic planning. PSO has been constantly upgrading its depot facilities, introducing modern techniques in product handling and transfers.

The company is focusing on enhancing and upgrading storage facilities, which represent 80 per cent of Pakistan's total storage capacity for petroleum products. To handle the increased volumes of Fuel Oil and HSD PSO is enhancing its storage and handling capacity at its Port Qasim Terminal. This enhanced capacity will also give PSO the flexibility to store other companies' products and earn additional income for PSO, a step that will generate money for PSO through other sources.

PSO also has taken up the task of bringing its POL tank lorry fleet at par with international standards. As a first step, products in Karachi are being supplied through new tank trucks equipped with satellite tracking system. Gradually, this system will be expanded to other parts of the country.

As a company cognizant of its responsibilities towards its various stakeholders, PSO is now placing a very strong emphasis on Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) compliance. Implementation of HSE standards at all PSO storage and distribution facilities is being ensured while its lube blending plants have already attained the ISO 9002 certification.

With the deregulation of POL pricing, PSO has been the first company to pass on the benefit of price changes to its customers. Prices of Fuel Oil have been considerably reduced on various occasions while price formula of the Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC) is being implemented for all other products. Price displays at the company retail outlets ensure the provision of POL products at the right price.

Alongside the development of its physical facilities, PSO has undertaken significant reorganization in its management. Strengthening its ranks by trained professionals at various levels, development of the Business Unit concept and decision-making based solely on business considerations, PSO is now ideally placed to respond to the challenge that it may come across.

As the oil marketing industry moves towards greater deregulation and increased competition because of the entry of new competitors, PSO is ideally placed to meet the challenges of the future. And for this, the credit goes to the present government!