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Gulf Oil's growing relevance for retailers

Case Study - Georgia

Gulf Oil's Georgian fuel retail licensee, Sun Petroleum, has grown the brand rapidly since entering the Georgian fuel market, acquiring a network from the state.

In this extremely competitive market, the Gulf brand has become Georgia's third-largest player, growing its network to over 100 sites. The company has achieved this by building on the country's strategic location to locate fuel service stations along the main highway from Turkey to the Black Sea Ports. This key piece of infrastructure travels on to Azerbaijan, Armenia and Central Asia, passing through every one of the country's major cities.

Sun operates five fuel terminals, a separate storage facility, and a central control room to monitor the fuel retail network. The company is active in social donation and support programmes, while also continuing promotion in line with the brand's long motorsport association. Sun has become the sponsor of the Gulf Racing Team, which participates in two classes of Georgia's top national motorsport championship, and the sponsor of Georgia's most famous football team, Dinamo Tbilisi. This promotion, along with smart locally-directed investment, has driven the Gulf brand to a position of prominence in a few short years.

"The Gulf brand is highly sought after, especially by companies who wish to take advantage of market situations, where major lubricant companies or fuel retailers are pulling out of the local market. We are finding that people are attracted to the brand for many different reasons. Many of our distributors have transferred from competitor brands to Gulf because of restructuring by the majors. They want to continue to offer a successful brand to their current customers whilst also competing for new business and as such the Gulf brand fits perfectly. Others have automotive related business (such as spare parts, tyres, etc.) and are looking for other sales channels to complement their existing business. While some might start from scratch, but have the wherewithal and the funds to start up a new business based around the Gulf brand."


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