What role does Oman Oil Marketing Company (OOMCO) play in Oman’s Vision 2020?
QATAN: We play one of the major roles with respect to the marketing companies. We make sure that the fuel is available everywhere. In that aspect, we are proud to say that we are fueling the development of Oman. We are playing a major part in driving the construction and development of the country’s infrastructure. We have achieved sustainable growth. This type of growth has helped us attract more investments and establish a sense of trust. We are also paying strong attention to the talent development of Omanis. We are proud to say that this company is now fully managed by Omanis. Everything is done by local Omanis. As a result, we are adding value to the country. We also create leaders for other companies and because of this we call ourselves leader multipliers. A lot of companies recruit their talent from Oman Oil Marketing. It hurts but it is also enjoyable to see because we feel that we are adding value to the market. Furthermore, we provide excellent services to our customers. They feel at home when they come to our stations. They are greeted with happy faces and we make sure that everything is available for them. Oman’s Vision 2020 is calling for the diversification of the economy. We are also taking this same approach with regards to our business. We are not only depending on fuel sales for growth, but also other sources that we can develop in order to diversify our revenue. This will help us gain more growth in the long run. The country’s Vision 2020 calls for more investments in infrastructure and for the diversification of Oman’s income. We are taking advantage of this because it opens up new doors for business investments and opportunities. For instance, the government has already begun developing new highways and roads. This gives Oman Oil Marketing and the other companies an excellent business opportunity to go and open new stations. In turn, we are adding value to the growth of the economy. The government is also heavily investing in the development of Oman’s airports. A lot of new airlines will be coming to Oman. This is an opportunity for us because we can fuel these airlines. The Vision 2020 is guiding our business developments.
What new developments have taken place in energy marketing? What new and innovative methods are you implementing to reach your target audiences?
QATAN: We have added value to the market by bringing in new ways of approaching business. We are focusing on service, innovation, atmosphere, and environment. Luckily, the government subsidizes fuel in order to sustain growth, encourage investment, and develop Oman. We thank the government for that support. Since the government is spending quite a lot of money on the development of the country’s infrastructure, we have had many opportunities to expand. As a result, over the last 10 years we have been expanding both vertically and horizontally. We are also progressing with regards to our talent. That is the most important thing to us. We are moving into different segments of the industry. Initially, when the Government invested in Oman Oil, the company wasn't involved with any of the ports. There were no doors open to the marine segment. We are currently one of the licensed companies that support bunker fueling in Sohar. We have a joint venture with a well-established German company called Matrix Marine. We have been able to provide a wonderful service to our customers in Sohar. We may be one of the most active companies supplying fuel to the bunker in Sohar and we are doing this with a lot of efficiency.
Which products are at the focal point of your marketing strategy?
QATAN: We are currently selling fuel products but a few years ago we launched Ahlain. Ahlain is the sister to our fuel revenue. It brings in non-fuel revenue to the company, which has been really well received. It has been the talk of many communities. Ahlain means “welcome” in English and we have welcomed our customers into our hearts. The customers have also greatly appreciated what we have done. We have profiled a unique service, a unique look, and substantial growth. We have also experienced further growth because of this initiative and the driving factor for this has been our customer support.
What are your biggest export markets? How do you anticipate this will evolve in coming years?
QATAN: We are mainly focused on fueling the nation and driving the development of the country. When it comes to exporting, we only export our own lubricants. We have made great progress in Kuwait, Yemen, Pakistan, and many other areas throughout Africa. We are really gaining good ground in these areas. We are hoping to expand our brand to all of the countries throughout the MENA region, East Africa, and Asia. For instance, we are currently opening up Burma.
How would you describe the dynamic between the NOC and foreign energy players in Oman? How do you work with major players, such as Shell Oman and Al Maha Petrol?
QATAN: We look at ourselves in the sense that we are complementing each other. These companies are national companies as well but we have the brand name of the country. This is something that we are truly proud of. We have more government investment and we have taken the lead as carrying the nation’s flag in the business of retail. The current state of competition is healthy because it forces us to reshape each other. This in turn helps us to provide better service to the customers. We are also becoming more efficient and attractive to customers, business, and talent.
When it comes to exporting, we only export our own lubricants. We have made great progress in Kuwait, Yemen, Pakistan, and many other areas throughout Africa.
Oman Oil Marketing Company (OOMCO) is currently listed on the MSM-30 Index and has been showing positive growth for the past few years. How reflective is the share price of the true value of the company?
QATAN: OOMCO’s (Oman Oil Marketing Company) share price has grown by more than 100%. It used to be OMR 0.7 or OMR 0.8, and now it is over OMR 1.9. The trust of our customers, shareholders, and the management, are driving this growth. Oman Oil’s image throughout the country is highly regarded and well received in the market. This may be one of the main factors that has encouraged investors to invest more into our company. I would say that we have established a lot of trust in the marketplace. We offer great customer service and we have a strong management team. The customers see these aspects and people are more willing to buy.