What have been the main highlights for Yaadman in Jamaica?
Yaadman is GB Energy/Texaco's partner in Jamaica's cooking gas market. GB has not been in the LPG business in the past but is making a big push for LPG in Jamaica, including auto LPG and power generation. Additionally, we are entering the market with larger-sized cylinders and selling them for the same price as their smaller counterparts. Instead of an 11-kg cylinder, we are introducing a 12.5-kg cylinder that will provide the consumer with approximately three additional pounds of LPG. Another differentiator is that we are experimenting with the blend of propane/butane that we are using. For us, bringing that differentiator to the market will give people more value and cooking time with the same amount of gas.
Is using LPG fuel for vehicles a way to embrace environmental changes in Jamaica?
Absolutely; it is a cleaner fuel so the resulting emissions from one's vehicle are reduced. Economically, it is also great for the people of Jamaica as the cost to fill up your tank with LPG is approximately half the cost of traditional auto fuels. Based on the current cost of the LPG conversion kits, consumers will likely realize a payback period of less than one year. Jamaica should continue to look at all environment friendly technologies, such as electric cars.
How is the partnership with GB Energy increasing the market share in Jamaica?
GB Energy/Texaco brings a brand recognition and level of experience that is second to none. We will leverage the long-standing credibility it has established while also building loyalty for a local, Jamaican-owned LPG distributor. We are also introducing more technology and analytics into an industry that has traditionally been very low-tech. To that end, we are partnering with GB's partner Amber Connect to tag all our cooking gas cylinders with special RFID tags. There are many advantages to this, such as inventory control and maintenance. If we can see when a customer started using the cylinder, we can analyze the history of the customer and make fairly accurate predictions for when a new cylinder will be needed. As a result, this will add a great deal of credibility to us as a company. The use of analytics and technology is exciting, and GB's leadership is highly motivated in deploying this technology across all its markets.
Are there any priorities to go to more parishes and territories?
We plan to serve the entire country, starting with the western and northern parishes. We want to be strategic and not follow all of the traditional distribution and deployment models that have been used by our competitors in the past. Moving forward, we will look for innovative and cost-effective ways to distribute gas around the island. We may be looking for miniature filling plants or even depots where there is a high population density to justify the investment. In the end, we are counting on using local distributors and dealers and leveraging the loyalty they have built in their distribution networks over the years.
What are your targets and expectations for 2019?
Over the next two to three years, we are looking at capturing 20% market share of the entire domestic cooking gas market. From there on, we will work on increasing our market share incrementally.