Caltex makes headway in Bangladesh, Maldives
Bangladesh and the Maldives operations of Caltex Lubricants Lanka
Limited have shown a sharp increase last year.
Managing Director, Caltex, Kishu Gomes
While the Sri Lankan lubricant market for Caltex showed a 10 percent
decline last year the Bangladesh market showed a 40 per cent volume
growth and Maldives a 20 per cent growth.
Managing Director, Caltex, Kishu Gomes told Daily News Business that
the difficult time the country went through last year was the main
reason for the decline in the Sri Lankan lubricant market for Caltex.
“However, with signs of permanent peace on the horizon within a few
months we expect the local market to pick up in the future,” he said.
Gomes said that though the East was liberated and money was pumped in
for development and infrastructure projects, the results of these
investments would start to flow from this year. “This would create an
additional opportunity for the lubricant market,” he said. The fishing
industry will be the key beneficiary from peace, as the fishing area
would be extended.
“This too would lead to new opportunities,” he added. With the dawn
of peace there would also be more foreign direct investments and that
again would lead to new opportunities.
A Bangladesh filling station powered by Caltex
The Sri Lanka lubricant market, which was liberalized in 1998 has 14
players today. Two companies, IOC and Chevron have local manufacturing
blending plants. He said that consumers are getting more quality
conscious and are enhancing the quality of their products.
Commenting on the Maldives operations, he said that it is a small
operation. “However, though our volumes are low in the Maldives their
margins were good.
The country is building a second airport, embarked on new housing
schemes and has focused on tourism development. The 2020 vision adopted
by them is also well accepted. “Due to this the Maldivian economy is
strong,” he said.
Gomes said that Caltex launched their operations in Bangladesh in
March 2006 and have consolidated their position by bringing in more
foreign exchange to Sri Lanka.
In addition Caltex has provided over Rs. 3 billion as taxes to the
government. This is over 50 per cent of the company’s profits.
Similar to the Maldives, the Bangladesh government is also focusing
on development that has opened new vistas for Caltex especially in the
industrial sectors. “We are also looking at new synergies specially in
the retail and automotive areas,” he said. Caltex is also looking at
exporting more products to India this year.