Growth Despite the Pandemic

Growth Despite the Pandemic

Rompetrol opened 6 new petrol stations in Georgia this year. The company’s owner, KMG International Group, is implementing a five-year strategy that will involve intensive expansion of its network on the retail market. The company’s effective crisis management plan has allowed it to fulfill its objectives in spite of the pandemic.

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“During this difficult period, not only did we manage to protect our employees and customers and safeguard all the existing jobs, but we actually continued to invest, thereby creating new jobs,” the company’s General Director Zamanbek Mirzayanov states, adding that the investment environment stills needs improvement in Georgia.

“The investment climate is unenviable, which causes a headache for foreign investors. However, we hope that the situation will soon change for the better.”

KMG International N.V. is registered in the Netherlands and owns 100% of Rompetrol. Already in March, the company activated its crisis management plan, which seeks to preserve the continuity of operations, while at the same time protecting company employees, their families, and customers.

Most company employees are now working remotely. Business trips and meetings have been canceled and self-isolation requirements were imposed on staff returning from abroad. The number of ‘front office’ staff working the same shift was reduced to a minimum, and employees have limited direct contact with the customer. Nevertheless, there have been no delays in the process of delivering fuel to the consumers. The main challenges currently facing the company concern reduced fuel consumption, particularly during the periods of lockdown and curfew.

KMG International Group, owning Rompetrol Georgia, operates in 11 countries of Europe and Central Asia. Rompetrol first appeared on the Georgian market 15 year ago and immediately established itself as one of the largest importers of premium-quality fuel. Rompetrol is also one of the largest taxpayers and employs 800 people across the country. Company revenues exceeded GEL 500 million in 2018, but the fuel industry is one of many that have been affected by the pandemic in 2020.

“Our sales have decreased by 20%, forcing us to cut our operational costs and delay several planned projects. However, the company ultimately managed to bring the situation under control without suffering major losses and adapt to the new reality relatively quickly. Crisis management teams were established in every Rompetrol branch back in February,” Mr. Mirzayanov states.

Taking early measures produced the desired results. By optimizing operations, the company managed to keep the business in good shape and maintain growth. Rompetrol opened more than 5 new petrol stations across Georgia in 2020, taking the total number of facilities to over 80. Among the newly opened stations is the one in Borjomi, which follows a new concept and is a source of great pride for Zamanbek Mirzayanov.

“The Borjomi station, which employs 11 people, will soon offer a full package of services – a cafe, supermarket and lounge terrace in addition to the petrol station. The new station has been built using modern technologies. The reaction from our loyal customers has been highly positive,” the company General Director explains.

The new station will attract customers beyond the usual clientele. This is not only due to the additional facilities, but also the technical features of the petrol station itself. The station has been equipped with Tokheim fuel pumping systems that are renowned for their high accuracy and quality. The fuel comes from the ultramodern Petromidia refinery in Romania and satisfies Euro 5 standards (Efix and EfixS). Most importantly for Borjomi, the new location is equipped with modern environmentally friendly systems considering the presence of vapor recovery mechanism at fuel pumps, oily water separators, and double-wall tanks for leakage prevention.

It is encouraging to see that in the most difficult year for Georgia and the whole world, Rompetrol has found the strength to look after the environment, its employees, and its customers. This strength has become the company’s main driving force. The expansion continues, and its extent will become evident during the next five years.

“We are constantly working on improving our services and expanding our coverage to reach all parts of beautiful Georgia” states Zamanbek Mirzayanov.

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