Monday, 17 July 2006

Reliance Fuels Forecourts Design Projects

To coincide with deregulation of the Indian state run petroleum retail sector, design company Minale Tattersfield was commissioned by Reliance petroleum, in 2001, to brand and design a new network of petrol stations writes David Davis, Head of Energy Sector - Partner, Minale Tattersfield.

The commission comprised full blown truckstops at highway sites, regular fuel sites on trunk roads and city sites together with outlets aimed at the rural community, who traditionally arrived on site with tractors, trailers and vessels to be filled.

Reliance Industries is one of India's largest privately owned companies, who only recently completed a 27mn t/y grass root refinery at jamnagar in the Indian state of Gujarat, with the refined product to be sold through the retail outlets. In parallel to this project, the company embarked upon construction of a new telecommunication network, which included covering India with a network of fibre - optic cabling and transducer towers. Part of the remit for Minale Tattersfield was to design the architectural elements and create the branding components for the new Reliance Infocomm company as well as design the 1,000 strong network of Webworld branded phone shops. Significantly all fuel retail outlets will be included within the telecommunication network, which gives Reliance a competitive advantage in terms of wet stock management and offerings the all important trucking community a tailor made banking, communication and load matching service.

Phase 1 of the implementation programme is currently in the region of 100 sites strong. The prototype site at the company headquarters complex in New Bombay (Navi Mumbai) was opened in 2004 and is currently turning over three times the expected sales volume. Initial studies prove that consumers are aware that Reliance has taken extra care to maintain quality and quantity of the fuel product.

The existing state run companies have previously had a bad reputation in this regard and therefore a key consideration in the design process was to differentiate the Reliance brand as far as possible from its contemporaries. To this end a modern design was created using curves together with colour branding of blue, green, and silver. Currently under construction on the Baroda- Ahmadabad expressway is a retail outlet with a multi- food brand rest facility aimed at car and coach passengers. The architecture was deliberately more rustic to appeal to the average truck driver. The first 'Dhabas' as they are called locally have been opened for a year now and are again performing above expectations. In order to offer the full range of services to the motoring public, vehicle service centres are also included.
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