The attempt by Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to brighten up its balance sheet a little by diversifying into the fuel supply sector has started to yield results. KSRTC has registered an impressive Rs 1,106 crore turnover from its fuel supply subsidiary Yatra Fuels earning a commission Rs 30.34 crore in just one and a half years of operation.
KSRTC, which had been facing financial difficulties for a long time, decided to take a gamble and branch out into the fuel supply sector to make an attempt to earn some revenue diversifying from its core transportation vertical.
“KSRTC Yatra Fuels successfully established a foothold in the fuel supply sector with an impressive turnover of Rs 1,106 cr in just one and a half years of operation. The fuel outlets of Yatra Fuels are operational in various places across the state and have been providing fuel to both KSRTC vehicles and the public. Out of the total turnover, Yatra Fuels received Rs 25.53 crore as commission for supplying fuel to KSRTC vehicles, while Rs 163 crore was earned by providing fuel to the public. Yatra Fuels also received a commission of Rs 4.81 crore for the latter,” an official statement said.
Additionally, KSRTC was able to avoid an additional financial burden of Rs 162 crore due to the increase in diesel prices.
KSRTC has entered the fuel distribution sector as part of the ‘KSRTC Re-structure 2.0’ plan to increase non-ticket revenue. Currently, 13 Yatra Fuels outlets are operational in various parts of the state, including Cherthala, Kozhikode, Chadayamangalam, Chalakudy, Munnar, Kilimanoor, Muvattupuzha, North Paravur, Mavelikkara, Thrissur, Guruvayur, and Thiruvananthapuram Vikas Bhavan. Work is underway to launch 25 more Yatra Fuels retail outlets. The aim is to establish 75 outlets across the state in a phased manner. In the future, KSRTC plans to not only provide petrol and diesel but also CNG, a green fuel, from its outlets.
KSRTC also plans to introduce a charging system for electric vehicles as well. According to top officials of KSRTC, the decision to diversify was taken to earn additional revenue for the ailing company. “We took a hard look at our operations and realized that there were several areas where we could improve and expand our services. Fuel supply seemed like a natural fit, and we decided to pursue it,” said an officer.
Though the KSRTC’s foray into the fuel supply sector was not without its challenges as they had to invest in new infrastructure and equipment, the efforts have paid off with the corporation reaping rewards from its new venture.