Strength of the Stallion
Often considered the supplier of choice in the eyes of the customer, MRS Oil tells us more about their growth in Nigeria’s downstream sector
Writer Emily Jarvis
Project Manager Arron Rampling
MRS Oil is a conglomerate of companies with diverse activities that are focused on capturing the entire value chain in oil trading, shipping, storage, lube manufacturing, aviation, distribution & retailing in West and Central Africa. With a vision to be the leading integrated energy company recognised for their people, excellence and values, MRS are an organisation focused on improving operating efficiencies in all areas of the downstream sector. “With the stallion as our symbol, we’ve lived up to our reputation of excellence through our landmark acquisition of Chevron’s west African assets (Texaco), an achievement that has placed us on the league of global integrated multinationals. MRS Oil is now one of the largest and most efficient downstream players, with solid roots in Nigeria, Cameroon, Benin, Togo and Cote D’Ivoire,” highlights Paul Bissohong, Managing Director for MRS Oil.
As one of the largest and leading marketers of refined products, including quality gasoline, marine and aviation fuels in Nigeria, the company market premium fuels under the MRS brand across hundreds of retail service stations strategically spread across Nigeria. With a wide range of lubricants and industry expertise, the company also offer premium lubricant brands – Stallion and Premier Motor Oil. MRS Oil’s proprietary blending facility and its research and development facilities in Apapa allow them to supply premium quality products, to their esteemed customers.
The Chevron Acquisition and Beyond
The acquisition of Chevron added over 680 further retail outlets to the Group’s distribution chain across West and Central Africa, making MRS one of the leading petroleum retailers on the continent, as the official distributor of Chevron lubricants in West Africa. Additionally, MRS partners with host governments to reach national aspirations such as providing employment opportunities, environmental sensitivity and economic growth. Currently backed by a team of approximately 800 employees and over 7,000 indirect staff located at various retail outlets in the region, MRS continue to provide a trusted and reliable service, nationwide and beyond.
Since this high-profile acquisition of Chevron and the Texaco brand in Nigeria, MRS Oil has built a very strong brand foundation with over 50 years experience in the Nigerian market. The company has invested in a fleet of barges and has more than 5,000 dedicated road tankers and 400,000 tonnes of floating storage. Additionally, MRS also owns two aviation jet fuelling facilities in Lagos and Abuja, which have tank storage capacities for refined products of over 122 million litres. Plus, MRS delivers 200 million litres of Jet A-1 per year to many of Nigeria’s major airports. “We are seeing a lot of success in aviation activity across the region, we have also embarked on refreshing the look and experience at all our retail outlets and this has had a noticeable impact on volume growth,” Bissohong affirms.
As an NIS ISO 9001: 2008 company, MRS continues to strategically invest in storage capacities, jetty expansion, technological advancement in terminal and retail operations and its image re-fresh activities in all its outlets in order to create a world of experience for all its esteemed customers.
As a downstream company with an expansive retail network spread across West and Central Africa, MRS have entered into several strategic supply partnerships with various world class companies and host governments; in addition to Chevron, these include PZ Cussons, Cadbury, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and British American Tobacco (BAT ).
Renewed Performance Levels
Bissohong says that the oil and lubricant industries are witnessing a renewed wave of activities and performance levels which is repositioning the industry on a new path of growth and development: “Across the region, the government are making efforts to improve the integrity of infrastructure in the region, as a result, the industry is seeing less and less occurrence of a fuel crisis. In some areas, despite the activity of road-side fuel peddlers, with its negative impact on retail business, the region as a whole is providing a lot of opportunities in industrial areas.”
The development of infrastructure in Nigeria such as roads, airports, mining, and agriculture is generating a lot of opportunities for the oil industry as Bissohong further explains: “In some parts of the region, the industry is undergoing a subtle but steady transformation that would hopefully result in a highly robust industry as soon as the current smuggling of petroleum products from the neighbouring countries is addressed.” The smuggling of counterfeits and low quality brands is a major challenge for MRS Oil, which the company are working hard to curtail with the help of various associations and the relevant government units.
The MRS Card – A Fleet Management Tool
Designed for the efficient control of organisational fuel cost and consumption, the MRS card is aimed at effective monitoring and reporting of an organisation’s fleet activities. This rechargeable smartcard is used to pay for products offered at MRS service stations. “The card offers portability, is durable and secure and guarantees customer satisfaction,” Bissohong says.
An Efficient Downstream Player
Over the years, MRS has received several awards and accolades for operational excellence, including the Pearl Award for Excellence in 2013 for the highest net asset ratio. Besides this, the company are active in the CSR sphere and are directly involved in efforts to improve football talents, right from the grassroots. “The first under-12 football competition in Nigeria was organised by us and this remarkable soccer event has been sustained for the last two years. It re-groups over 1,000 young individuals annually,” Bissohong proudly exclaims. The aim is to discover young talented players who will represent the country in future international competitions.
MRS believes that their desire to be the market leader who provides a consistently outstanding retail experience would clearly differentiate them from the competition. “Our desire to refresh our retail look indicates that 2015 will be a prosperous year for us in terms of volume increase. After the election in Nigeria, we are foreseeing a reduction in road sales/counterfeit products further to the deregulation that may happen. We also want to grow our market share in strategic segments,” emphasises Bissohong.
When identifying future market trends, Bissohong highlighted that 82% of energy consumption in Nigeria is currently made up of traditional biomass like wood, waste and kerosene. “Therefore, the potential for shifting consumers to cleaner cooking Gas or LPG is significant. It is important to accelerate this conversion particularly for lower-income households,” he adds.
With a strong desire to be the preferred fuel marketer in the hearts and minds of the customer, MRS Oil hope that their reliability, high quality, cleanliness and safety practices create the perfect product to match. “We strive to be a leading integrated African energy company, ultimately recognised by its people, excellence and values,” Bissohong signs off.