The Ajay and Vikram Shriram-controlled DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd (DSCL) is set to enter petro-goods retailing.
The company plans to retail petrol and diesel as an add-on service alongside its existing network of 12 Hariyali Kisan Bazaar (HKB) stores.
For this purpose, it is entering into dealership agreements with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) for retail vends.
HKB is a division of DSCL. The company has already opened a BPCL dealership petrol pump alongside its HKB store at Ajabpur in Uttar Pradesh and plans to open another at Firozpur in the same State.
According to the company's plans, the BPCL vend dealership would be in the name of HKB, which owns the land. BPCL is to lease the land from HKB, set up the pump at its own cost and then hand it over to HKB for running it. Thus, while HKB is to manage the fuel station, its profit will be out of the dealer's margin offered by the PSU oil company.
DSCL has finalised plans to open a total of 32 HKB shops in five States, namely, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal, by March 2006.
Talking to Business Line, the company Chairman, Mr Ajay Shriram, that the pilot plant set up alongside the HKB store at Ajabpur has proved a success and, therefore, the plan now is to have a BPCL pump alongside all its existing and proposed HKB shops.
The DSCL Vice-Chairman, Mr Vikram Shriram, said eventually, all these plants would undergo strict quality monitoring and will bear the `Pure for Sure' tag, BPCL's mark for purity.
The HKB stores now provide all inputs required by farmers, including seeds, fertilisers, farming equipment as also expert advice. Now it is integrating further by providing fuel oil. The company is also in the process of offering banking and insurance services through its HKB network. For this, the company is in talks with ICICI Bank for opening extension counters at its shops and is also in talks with several other banks, including public sector banks.
"We are also in talks with Agriculture Insurance Company of India Ltd for providing crop insurance to farmers through the HKB shops. We are also in talks with other insurance companies and it may be that these shops would be selling multidisciplinary insurance products that meet farmers demands," Mr Shriram said.