How One CEO Pivoted A Threatened Enterprise


Think about your self on this scenario: You promote a product that’s primarily equivalent to rivals’ choices, at related pricing. You’ve a large core enterprise serving a market that’s turning into step by step outmoded. What do you do to distinguish and develop?

This was the problem going through Petrol Ofisi, Turkey’s greatest gas distribution enterprise. As a agency with over $10 billion in income, it ranks as Turkey’s third-largest enterprise. But it was in a commodity enterprise serving markets – from lubricants to fuel stations to many others – that can be changed by electrification.

Mehmet Abbasoglu grew to become Group CEO of the corporate in August 2022, and he instantly prioritized new types of progress. In an interview with me, he mentioned, “We’re absolutely conscious that we’re operating towards electrification, which is in all places. If we don’t transfer this enterprise to grow to be an vitality infrastructure enterprise or use different verticals that capitalize on our asset base, we’re doomed.”

What may he do? One vector for progress has been in funds and monetary companies. The corporate’s loyalty app, linked to a extremely standard fantasy soccer recreation known as Sosyal Lig, has 3.5 million customers. By way of that app, the corporate directs funds from customers through its enterprise POFintech that bypasses commissions typically taken by fee processing intermediaries. The corporate has additionally obtained a banking license, a harbinger of what should still come.

One other response has been serving to its principal shareholder Vitol arrange VavaCars, a brand new option to buy used automobiles in Turkey. Abbasoglu explains, “Secondhand automobile buy has all the time been painful. Vitol established secondhand automobile valuation retailers on our retail entrance courts that present safety for the top client in addition to a digitized course of. To purchase a automobile, as an illustration, you log in and take a look at the automobile intimately, with 30 or extra footage displaying each scar in addition to the collision report. If you wish to buy it, you electronically ship in a deposit and it’s yours. What could be a 45-day shopping for course of was minimize to some hours.”

The place else may Petrol Ofisi acquire benefit, past utilizing its scale and actual property? If you wish to finance the automobile, the corporate can routinely lengthen credit score via its subsidiary Credin, with out the painful technique of signatures and couriers typical elsewhere. Abbasoglu notes, “We’ve a number of credit score checking mechanisms, not simply credit score scores. If the shopper is one in every of our loyalty app subscribers, Credin has first rate data on them. We all know what sort of automobile they drive, the place they stay, in the event that they’re paying with bank cards, and whether or not these playing cards get rejected typically. Our dangerous debt price is lower than 1%.”

These transitions had been much more difficult given the corporate’s legacy as an 83-year-old agency that was previously state-owned. To allow them, the corporate leaned exhausting into digital applied sciences. The Chief Data Officer was promoted to be a direct report back to the CEO, and IT methods had been transitioned to a typical platform in order that knowledge could possibly be shared extensively and immediately. Most significantly, Abbasoglu says it got here right down to folks. “It sounds cliché, but when I can not belief my administration workforce, in the event that they don’t run collectively, by default, we’d lose the race. Having the ability to belief folks is my most vital attribute.”

The transformation of Petrol Ofisi is complicated, however it rests on three key pillars:

  1. Perceive the Property – The corporate seemed past its gas enterprise to evaluate its actual property, buyer knowledge, skill to realize buyer’s consideration, transactions infrastructure, and extra.
  2. Re-examine Buyer Priorities – Credin and VavaCars exist to unravel a number of longstanding ache factors round secondhand automobile buy and gross sales: accessibility, safety, velocity, and transparency. Sosyal Lig and POFintech function progressive instruments for loyalty and monetary effectivity. All are differentiated and framed round aggressive benefits that rivals will battle to repeat.
  3. Create Urgency with an Empowered Staff – Abbasoglu’s warnings concerning the destiny of his large core enterprise are uncommon for a CEO. They’re additionally fairly intentional. He’s in search of urgency to alter the enterprise, and he has empowered a workforce via each authority and instruments corresponding to knowledge availability.

Petrol Ofisi demonstrates that transformation isn’t only for glamorous firms. Its story reveals that these sorts of pivots are accessible for a broad number of corporations, working in sectors each glitzy and gritty.

Contributed to Branding Technique Insider by Stephen Wunker, Managing Director of New Markets Advisors and Creator of The Modern Chief.

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