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Downstream players’ survival tied to efficient customer service, says Elebute


The Chief Executive Officer, Energy360 Limited, Abayomi Elebute, has identified efficient customer service as critical to the survival of players in the downstream segment of the petroleum industry.

Elebute said in order to be relevant in the next era of digital transformation and profitably, firms in downstream companies needed to be more customer-centric.

Speaking at the 12th Oil Trading and Logistics Africa Downstream Week, which was a convergence of leading players in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, the Energy360 boss said firms, today, needed to focus on technology, innovations and address issues concerning the dynamic nature of retail customers.

He said: “The king of the retail space in the downstream sector by 2030 will be the oil and gas firm, which is the most customer-centric, and focuses on the needs of customers rather than just supply trend.

“76 percent of managers will need to make decision between 12 hours a day and might not be able to wait for 24 hours.”

Elebute said with technology, firms will be able to keep track of how many customers come into their business, how they operate and how to use customer’s feedback to grow revenue.

“Digital culture allows people to drive results faster and attracts better skills. Businesses that do not invest in digital transformation will start crumpling in the next few years,” Elebute told the audience.

The CEO of Energy360 warned that if firms in the downstream sector continue to focus on the products and less on the customers, it would not only limit their expansion but also limit their profitability.

Citing some successful private businesses, he said CEOs and business managers in the 21st century needed to invest in digital transformation, which will help develop and transform firms to meet the modern day needs of customers.

He acknowledged that in the retail oil and gas space Energy360 had competitively change the dynamics of oil and gas businesses by allowing CEOs to instantaneously control their businesses without allowing fellow competitors beat them to it.

Elebute added: “Data is the new oil. If we don’t invest in data, we cannot grow our customer base.
“You can grow your customer base by investing in technology that is designed for your pump, terminals and depots, which will reduce retail firms from losses and fraudulent activities.”

Energy360 said it was well positioned to provide services for firms operating in the downstream sector, which will protect their revenue and improve margins through elimination of losses from fraud and leakages.

The Chairman, OTL Africa Downstream, Emeka Akabogu, said the theme of this year, “Unlocking value through industry synergy” was timely as recent developments in today’s complex and competitive market had shown that across the value chain, opportunities were opening up with increasing demand, unexplored assets, underdeveloped infrastructure and the potential to expand refining and petrochemical capacities.

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