Rosneft, BP Entry May Fuel Retail Competition

While PSUs may feel the heat, consumers are likely to benefit from quality service
India’s fuel retailing sector is poised for unprecedented competition with Russia’s Rosneft and Britain’s BP Plc set to operate petrol pumps with global best practices, which can shake up the statedominated sector and give consumers international quality service.

Armed with fat balance sheets and a welcoming government, these aggressive oil biggies can challenge the dominance of state firms, which have 95% share in the business. This will also pose a stiff challenge for Reliance Industries, which also has a presence in fuel retail.

Pump owners and state firms are already talking about how foreign firms can snatch their customers with sleek marketing, branding and international quality services.BP has just received a licence to set up 3,500 pumps, while Rosneft will inherit 2,700 retail outlets following a deal to acquire Essar Oil.

Foreign oil producers, struggling with low oil prices for two years, are targeting large markets such as India. Saudi Aramco, the global giant with $13 trillion worth of reserves, and France’s Total have also shown interest in marketing fuel in in India, the fastest growing major economy and third-largest oil consumer in the world.

Their strong resolve, rich global experience, brand equity and the big pile of cash will range against the incumbents’ local experience, a sturdy network of filling stations and supplies across the country.

“BP and Rosneft can put up a big challenge for the incumbents.If they are willing to spend, they can expect a fast rollout. With the government ready to welcome them with open arms, they shouldn’t face many hurdles in securing supplies or expanding the network,“ said Amresh Kapoor, former executive director at Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).

“Foreign players could introduce many global best practices that would help raise the service level and act as the key differentiator. With a heavy use of technology and innovation, they could win the market,“ said Gaurav Moda, consultant at KPMG.

Pump owners are worried. “Foreign players might just take away our customers. With fresh look, equipment, advanced technologies, higher service level and brand equity , they will certainly have an advantage over us,“ said Nitin Goyal, an office-bearer at All India Petroleum Dealers Association.

State firms are alert. “We are fully geared to compete. New players are welcome. It will increase competition and eventually benefit customers,“ said BSCanth, director marketing at IOC, the country’s largest fuel retailer. Canth said state firms learned their lesson a decade back when Reliance Industries came from behind to grab a big chunk of the market.“Our systems are ready. We have back-end logis tics in place and a huge network in all regions.“ Fore ign players would have to learn the local business nuances to compete with us, he said.

“Most of the challenges will happen on the highways where diesel is the most dominant fuel. He re, the key would be to catch the fle et owners,“ said Moda.

Diesel sales are three times that of petrol. In the current fiscal, die sel sales are up 3% while petrol has risen 10.5%. Diesel price de control in 2014 brought back priva te players such as Essar Oil and Reliance Industries to fuel retai ling they had exited almost a deca de ago after crude spike had reint roduced regulation.

Foreign players would find it hard to obtain land in big cities for pumps but the highways and smaller cities could become their playground.

“How the market share gets divi ded ultimately will depend largely on the rate at which our fuel con sumption grows. If it grows at a faster rate, the state firms will be better able to protect their sales,“ Kapoor said.

Reliance and Essar own about 4,000 of the 56,000 outlets across the country. IOC has a little more than 25,000 outlets while Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum together operate about 27,500 outlets. Shell, the only foreign player so far, has less than 100 stations. Shell’s limited presence and an uninspiring second innings by Reliance has given some analysts to conclude that the new entrants may stay slow.


Open Up Oil Marketing

We need to purposefully open-up oil marketing. It makes no sense to ring-fence the retail marketing of oil products solely for the oil companies. It is sub-optimal, monopolistic and goes against the consumer interest. It is not even as per international practice. Abroad, `independent’ oil retailers account for as much as half the retail offtake of petro-goods. We need similar opening-up here.It would boost realisations in the larger retail industry and improve service quality at the oil pumps. We definitely need much more competition in India’s large and growing oil economy.


Solve computer issues and get online support using Remote Assistance

Run into computer problems and don’t know how to get help? You can ask an expert to remotely connect to you over the internet.

Many of us may have had our computer suffer from a hardware or software problem. Usually the way out is to either call a computer expert over or take the system to the nearest service centre. However, you can easily get help for common issues using a remote connection.

Both Windows and MAC have built-in remote assistance features that allow you to share control of your desktop/laptop remotely with an expert over the Internet, who can then examine and solve the issue.

The Remote Assistance feature first appeared in Windows XP. To enable this feature, go to the Control Panel > System and in the window that opens up, click on the Remote Tab. Check the box that says ‘Allow Remote Assistance Invitations’. You can invite an expert you know to connect to your system via a secure remote connection by sending an email or by using Windows Messenger.

Once connected, the expert will be able view your desktop screen, control your mouse and chat with you side-by-side in the remote assistance window. Note that you will need to share control of your system with the expert by clicking on the ‘Take Control’ button on top (a security feature). Once the expert solves your problem, you can disconnect the remote assistance session and start using your system.

On a MAC, there are two ways to provide remote control of a system for assistance. The first (and simpler) method is by using iChat/Messages. Just add the user to your chat list, start a conversation and select ‘Screen Share Enabled’ from the Video menu on top.

The second way is to go to System Preferences > Sharing. Check the box that says ‘Screen Sharing’ and click on the computer settings button. Check both the options in the pop-up window. You will also need to specify a password for accessing your system. The expert will be required to enter the password to connect to your system. The one issue with this method is that it is really easy to use over a local network, but if the expert is in another location, you need to know how to configure your networking devices (port forwarding).

This website has a collection of howto videos depicting various day-today used programs and functions of a PC/MAC. You can view the videos and even email them to less tech savvy family members or friends.

Lifehacker has a dedicated section ( of easy-to-understand & emailable articles that feature step-by-step explanations of how to go about setting up a new device or perform various functions on a PC/MAC.

Google’s Chrome browser offers a free add-on called ‘Chrome Remote Desktop’ — it allows remote control of one computer by another irrespective of the operating system. Both the systems just need to have Chrome with the add-on installed. It generates an authentication code on the host computer, which has to be entered in the remote computer to be able to get secure remote access.

This multi-platform (Windows, MAC, Linux) software allows remote control, collaboration as well as file sharing between two connected computers. It is free to download for non-commercial use, you can download iOS and Android apps and it also secures the remote connection using 256-bit encryption. Get it from :

It offers an unlimited connection to another computer with the free version and also allows for a remote reboot. You can get an Android app for remote access plus perform unlimited file transfers between connected computers. Works with (and between) Windows and MAC. Get it from :

This offers remote control for Windows or MAC from other computers or iOS devices. Using LogMeIn, you can also remotely wake up a computer from sleep. The free version uses 256-bit encryption for remote connection but does not allow file transfers. However, you can still use remote access to open and view files. Get it from :

Mikogo offers many more features than just remote control of a computer. It offers session recording, multi-monitor support as well as an option to pause the session. The free account only allows for 14 days of trial usage. (It costs $13/month for the basic plan) Get it from :

JOIN.ME allows access and control of a remote computer via a web browser. The remote PC is required to install a small software that gives you an access code. The access code allows anyone to connect via the website. The remote PC can then share control, chat or even set up a voice call over the internet.

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It’s easy with Ammyy Admin, multi-task free remote control software.
You can easily share a remote desktop or control a server over the Internet with Ammyy Admin. No matter where you are, Ammyy Admin makes it safe and easy to quickly access a remote desktop within a few seconds. Ammyy Admin is trusted by more than 6,000,000 personal and corporate users. Get it from:


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