It has come to the final quarter of year 2020 – the year of pandemic. We witnessed the widespread of COVID-19, one of the most destructive pandemics in human history.
In Malaysia, the fuel industry has encountered a never-before-seen scenario. While the world oil price had a steep fell for a few consecutive months, the Malaysian government declared the implementation of Movement Control Order (MCO). Social activities are suddenly restricted, interstate travelling is forbidden, international borders are closed. No doubt, fuel retailers are badly hit. Pen Petroleum suffered 80% loss of revenue. We are put in the same boat with our retail partners in fighting of survival.
With the relaxation of movement restriction following declaration of Conditional-MCO and Recovery-MCO, we finally see some lights shed at the end of the tunnel. At the time of writing, a review of our network performance shows that 83% of our station has recovered to normal sales. I am very proud of our retailers and their staff for their relentless effort in recovering their sales in such short period of time. I would also like to thank Chevron Malaysia for being supportive to Pen Petroleum and our retailers in this unprecedented time.
People often comment that we (essential business) are fortunate to be able to ‘business as usual’ during the MCO. To me and my partner Dato’ Rahim, this is not entirely true. We find that ‘business un-usual’ is a more suitable description for petrol station business. Due to change of customer behavior, our usual petrol station customer service platform is expanded to incorporate strict sanitizing and social distancing practice as the basic measures. Other than delivering 5-Star quality fuel, customer also expect us to safeguard their safety and health while re-fueling or shopping with us.
In this new business environment, while physical distancing is important, I believe heart-to-heart engagement is equally crucial to maintain customer relationship. It is important to make our customer feel the touchless human-touch element in our service. I urge our retailers to continue serving our Caltex customers at operational excellence level. Do not forget our smile, greetings, and thanks. Make every goodbye to mean ‘see you again’.
Saw Chang Heng