TBY talks to Al Sayyid Munther Saif Hamed Al-Busaidi, Managing Director of Al Maha Petroleum, on expanding their strategic partnerships with companies in various sectors, and the wider economic impacts of the company's operations.

 Al Sayyid Munther Saif Hamed Al-Busaidi
Al Sayyid Munther Saif Hamed Al-Busaidi is the Managing Director of Al Maha Petroleum. He also holds the position of Chairman of the Executive Committee and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors. In addition to his duties with Al Maha Petroleum, he is the Chairman of Ikhtiar Group and Chairman of Oman Equestrian Federation.

What are the most recent developments taking place at Al-Maha Petroleum?

Al-Maha is a leading distributer of petroleum products for the retail and commercial sector in Oman, with close to 190 gas stations spread across the Sultanate. We have strong commercial business ties with different companies in both the private and government sectors, including a strategic partnership with Chevron. With regard to the aviation sector, we are also in association with various airlines. In terms of development, we are focusing on widening our retail networks and achieving customer satisfaction. We are also working to implement quality services within a shorter time frame. We used to have contracts with companies that provided us with trucks to deliver the goods to the Rural Areas Electricity Company (RAECO) stations. Now, Al-Maha has purchased new trucks and so we have more control over the delivery time and efficiency.

Al-Maha has many partnerships such as Rural Areas Electricity in the Dhofar Governorate and Oman Air with the new airports. How does the company envision the expansion of these partnerships?

Oman is investing more in projects in the electricity sector to an anticipated annual increase in power consumption due to an industrial and construction boom. REACO is undertaking electricity generation transmission distribution and supply activities in Oman. There are over 30 power stations in Oman and Al-Maha supplies fuel to all these areas under a contract. One of the challenges we face is fuel transportation to rural areas because the refineries are located in the North part of Oman, while the power stations are in the Southern part. An increase in the growth of development has allowed Al-Maha to cater to the high demand. Oman Air, which operates scheduled domestic and international passenger services as well as regional air taxi and charter flights, is Al-Maha's most important and strategic partner. The aviation Industry in Oman has been steadily increasing its passenger numbers both for transit and for tourists who visit the country. 50% of Oman Air's need is catered by Al-Maha. Further expansion of Muscat Airport, Salalah, will ultimately boost Al-Maha's aviation business.

The company has two new innovations: one is E-rial and the other is Smart Fuel. How are these innovations adding value to Al-Maha?

Al-Maha was one of the first oil companies in the area to use filling fuel through smart cards, which were inaugurated in 2001. We have a considerable number of consumers who are using these cards and it has gained popularity within a short span of time. The E-rial and smart cards were a promotional concept of Al-Maha's creative team. E-rial is a prepaid card that is usually used by individual customers, and Smart cards are for the companies and we have both government and private companies who avail these facilities.

What are your expectations for the company for 2015 and your long-term outlook for the development of Oman?

To maintain our leadership in the market, we have to face more challenges and explore new ideas and technologies. There are opportunities for the company to expand into related business outside Oman. Our aim is to enter international markets to acquire key. The future is promising for Al-Maha, we expect to become the market leader with a 40% share. We are extending our services to the remote part of the Sultanate where fuel supply is limited. As a result, we are widening their economic growth. We support tourism by building service stations at key tourist locations across the Sultanate. Through participation in energy and energy-related projects we play an important role in developing Oman's economy.