Special editorial feature

Interview

‘Our focus on quality and quantity is relentless’.

Zeeshan Tayyeb,
Group COO, Gas & Oil Pakistan Ltd.

August 2022

Please tell us about Gas & Oil Pakistan Ltd. (GO), its 7-year history, its products and add ons.

Mr. Khalid Riaz, CEO, GO, took start of his career at a very young age by joining his father’s family business of petroleum products in 1979.

In 2011, Mr. Riaz came up with the idea of starting an OMC, which was taken forward. He partnered with Sheikh Shehzad Mubeen & Mr. Bilal A. Ansari and formed GO.

From humble beginnings, GO, in a span of seven years has been able to rapidly spread its retail outlet network throughout the country. It is one thing to provide fuel-based products and services; it is entirely another to be recognized for unmatched quality of services rendered aside from fuels.

Taking a few steps back into its history, the company’s early focus was to develop storage facilities in the country in line with its ambition. Following up on that, GO set up retail outlets in rural and suburban areas and in the last couple of years has started to make its presence felt in bigger cities. GO currently has the largest network of Company Owned Company Operated (COCO) retail outlets as well as a fleet of Mobile Quality Testing Units (MQTU) that ensure consistent top quality fuel products delivery to customers at all times.

Please brief us about yourself and how has been your experience as the COO of the company.

I was trained as a Chartered Accountant from PwC, and after a brief stint in its Technology practice, I joined ICI Pakistan in 2002. After spending time in a few roles out of Karachi, I was seconded to ICI’s Global Headquarters in London and held various Finance Director roles in different Business Units and continued to work there after its acquisition by Akzo Nobel.

Afterwards, I joined DeBeers Industrial Diamonds, which included a large Oil & Gas portfolio. Later, I also worked for Valiant Petroleum, an offshore E&P company operating in the North and Norwegian Seas as Finance Director. Before coming to Pakistan, I spent considerable time working with private equity firm Hg Capital as Finance Director and with several other businesses in Chief Operating Officers roles.

I am also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and alumnus of Harvard Business School. In 2018, following my desire to move back to Pakistan, I had the chance to meet the Chairman of GO, Mr. Tariq Kirmani and CEO, Mr. Khalid Riaz in London and joined GO in late 2018.

What are the major accomplishments and milestones achieved by GO so far?
• GO is the fastest growing OMC with a network of over 1,000 retail outlets operating in Pakistan providing Petrol, Diesel & Lubricants.
• GO was ranked as the 3rd largest OMC in 2020 in respect of Petrol, Diesel and HOBC.
• GO has Oil Storage Depots & Terminals across Pakistan with a total storage of approx. 200,000 MTs., the largest oil storage capacity by an OMC in the private sector.
• First OMC to introduce Electric Vehicle Chargers in Pakistan.
• Offering Corporate, Fleet & Prepaid Cash Cards to companies and individuals.
• GO plays an effective part in CSR activities.
• Introducing goLink Station concept in Pakistan in partnership with ENOC.

How do you ensure the quality of your products and services?
Our focus on quality and quantity is relentless with one of the highest numbers of quality control checks and site inspections in the industry. We are proud to have a sizeable fleet of Mobile Quality Testing Units that visit retail outlets regularly to ensure not just quality, quantity, the correct price but also a number of checks to ensure that our retail outlets are safe, clean and compliant with our customer service standards. This is in addition to our quality testing labs at our depots and terminals.

What are the major challenges confronting the country’s petroleum sector?
Approx. half of petrol and diesel consumed in Pakistan is imported in addition to crude oil imported and refined locally. This situation is unlikely to change in the near future until significant investments are made in Pakistan’s refining capacity and the existing refineries start producing to their designed capacity.

The country’s demand for petroleum products is being met by the industry from imports and despite the introduction of electric vehicles and given the time required to bring additional capacity online, this trend is expected to continue in the medium term.
Although, Electric Vehicles have now entered the Pakistan market, it will take considerable time before it offsets the growth in demand of refined products.

The regulatory and business environment continues to improve in the country with the Government addressing various issues faced by the petroleum sector. We hope that the industry will flourish and not only be able to improve the existing service offering but also launch new products such as EV charging stations, environment friendly fuels as well as allied services for customers visiting the retail outlets.

In order to ensure that the petroleum industry survives this transition and continues to invest in the retail network in the country, we believe it is important to first sets its margins right and ultimately deregulate the industry.