The battle for the marketshare in MS & HSD Retail to heat up with the launch of MRPL's HiQ.

January 13, 2008

At a colourful function held at Maddur, near Mandya on the Bangalore-Mysore Highway, yesterday, Shri M S Srinivasan, Secretary, MoP&NG, GoI, in the presence of Shri S M Shankar, the Honorable MLC of Maddur, Shri P B Mahishi, Chief Secretary, GoK, Shri I M Vittalamurthy, Secretary, KCI&T, GoK, Shri Rajamani, MD, MRPL , Shri N K Mitra, Director (Offshore), ONGC & Director MRPL, and Shri L K Gupta, Director (Finance), MRPL, unveiled the latest brand petroleum retail brand, HiQ from the House of MRPL.

A report

The HiQ RO was all dressed up and ready by 1600hrs on 12th January 2008. Flowers adorned the sales building, trees and the D-island were lit up, welcome arch opened itself to the guests and the VIP's cars. The traditional drummers from Mandya in their tiger skin costumes, plumed headgear and bare torsos welcomed the guests as they came in. Shri Rajamani drove in and was escorted by GM (RS) Shri Sanjay Grover to the Baskin Robbins Outlet which was converted into a VVIP waiting area for the evening. The crowd was sizeable by 1730hrs.

Several dignitaries came to grace the occasion including the Deputy Commissioner Shri N. Manjunatha Prasad, Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer, Additional SP, Shri P K Atreya, Sr Advisor (Ops & Mktg), MRPL, Shri Nanjundan, Ex-ED, IOC who was part of the faculty that trained MRPL's Retail Marketing Dept.

Amongst the invited dignitaries on the dais, Shri N K Mitra, Director (Offshore) & Director MRPL, was the first to arrive. By 1745 the Chief Guest, Shri Mahishi and Honorable MLC Shri S.M Shankar who was to preside over the event, reached HiQ. By 1755 Shri M S Srinivasan came with Shri L K Gupta and Shri Kaleel Rahim, SrGM, (BD) and then came Shri I M Vittalamurthy.

The emcee for the evening, Dr Roshini took the floor and the inaugural ceremony began. The drums hit a crescendo when the pylon was unveiled by Shri S M Shankar, Honorable MLC, Maddur, and 10 bunches of purple and orange balloons with HiQ/MRPL cutouts tied to the base rose into the air singing "Chuenge hum aasman".

Then the fuelling service was inaugurated by sale of HSD, or diesel as its commonly known, from the first dispensing bay. The lady owner /driver smilingly looked on as Shri M S Srinivasan took the nozzle and punched the amount into the DU and with the assistance of the customer service attendant pumped the first quantity of HiQ fuel. The wireless handheld terminal spat out the bill and the sale was effected.

Next was the inauguration of the sales room by Shri Mahishi and then the Karnataka Tourism Information Kiosk by Shri Vittalamurthy.
Dr Roshini invited all the dignitaries onto the dais and the formal ceremony rolled. Invocation was sung to Lord Ganesha, then followed the State Anthem "Jaya janani" and then MRPL anthem "Chuenge Hum Aasman". Shri Gupta delivered a formal welcome and briefly touched upon very relevant issues of under recoveries and the Govt's support required for MRPL before winding up his heartwarming welcome.

Bouquets and Shawls were presented to the dignitaries by Shri R Rajamani and then the film "Decade of Excellence" was screened. Chairman, MRPL though unable to attend the function, thoughtfully sent his message and this was read out by Shri N K Mitra.

Having introduced MRPL through the audio visual, Shri Rajamani addressed the gathering about HiQ, about MRPL's plans in the retail fuelling space. He spoke about the 2 HiQs planned for launch by the end of March 2008 and the 14 HiQs spread over Karnataka, AP & TN that will soon come into the retail fuelling space. "A total of 500 HiQs will roll out all over India", he said (His speech left the media excited about the new dynamics in the retail fuel space and they later swamped him).

To further emphasize the philosophy and the brand promise of HiQ, a short film on HiQ was screened next.

Shri Mitra congratulated MRPL in his short crisp speech. Shri Vittalamurthy whose Department had provided the land for HiQ, congratulated MRPL for providing these facilities to the tourists who frequent the State highway passing connecting Bangalore & Mysore. (Mysore-Bangalore Highway has a very high volume of tourist groups). Shri Mahishi also spoke glowingly and expressed happiness about the fact that the first three HiQs are coming up in Karnataka. Shri Srinivasan spoke about the market realities, aspirations of today's customers and the demand for fuel stations with improved and high quality facilities and services. (Later he was heard complimenting MRPL on HiQ, and the entire event management from reception at airport to inauguration). Shri S M Shankar, Honorable MLC spoke in kannada and expressed his satisfaction about better facilities and services reaching Maddur through HiQ.

The event concluded with Shri Gupta giving away mementoes to the dignitaries on the dais and a vote of thanks from Shri Sanjay Grover, GM (RS). Soonafter the media surrounded Shri Srinivasan and then Shri Rajamani with a barrage of questions on oil price, industry outlook, MRPL's plans etc. Meanwhile all the other dignitaries were escorted to the Cafe© Coffee Day which is the largest in India, and the CCD was inaugurated by ribbon cutting, cake cutting and a round of coffees.

As the dignitaries left for Bangalore, and we began dismantling the shamiana and stage, we knew that the show has started for Shri Sanjay Grover and his team ably headed by Shri Anoop Srivastava, Zonal Manager, Bangalore and supported by Sridhar, Balaji, Rajesh, Manoj, Shwetha and Kailash the service providers. If the commitment we saw and effort they put in to make this event a success is anything to go by, HiQ will be the market leader on the Mysore- Bangalore Highway, ahead of Reliance, IndianOil, HPC, IBP and BPC who have set up shop much before us.

Chuenge Hum Aasman.