The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tourism to fuel IBP mainstay

Calcutta, Oct. 13: IBP Ltd, a subsidiary of Indian Oil, is eyeing the tourism sector to strengthen its oil retailing business.

To add value to its core business, the company plans to build tourism-related infrastructure along with its retail outlets in tourist spots and pilgrimages in collaboration with state governments.

Confirming the move, IBP general manager Ashoke Datta said the company is already in talks with several states, including Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra.

“We have decided to make strategic investment in the tourism sector because it will give us good mileage in terms of business and social activities,” Datta said.

The company is set to invest around Rs 10 crore in the third quarter of the current financial year to initiate the process.

“Our plan is to invest in infrastructure like restaurants, resorts and convenience stores in select spots along with petrol pumps. The aim is to provide necessary amenities to tourists in collaboration with state governments,” he added.

Stating that funds will not be a constraint, Datta said the company would need land from state governments for the buildings.

“We have already reached an agreement with the Andhra Pradesh and Kerala governments in this regard and are in talks with the Bengal and Orissa governments,” he said.

The resorts and restaurants, set up by the company, will be given to franchisees, as IBP does not have the required experience to run these businesses, Datta said. The company is set to invest around Rs 450 crore to set up 700-800 new pumps across the country by March 2004.

“In the eastern region alone, around 150 new pumps will be set up to strengthen our marketing network,” he said.

At present, the company has around 2,200 retail outlets across the country and is planning a substantial investment to revamp its old outlets.

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