All Good Things End With Caltex
Issue 15, 2020
William Edwards Deming an American engineer, statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and management consultant once said, “Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them”. That statement rings true in our industry especially when customers fuel at least once or twice a week and we aspire to retain them.
It is important that our customers remain happy, that they return and sometimes even give us a little extra from their wallet. This is the power of returning customer yield. As such going the extra mile and ensuring consistent service, rewards and retention plans are in place is key to how we operate our business.
The same goes to another side of our business where we need to walk-the-talk as well. And this is where Chevron and its team engages with retailers and investors for acquisition and network expansion. Mr. Gan Chee Chong is an excellent example of a repeat customer who has only returned for more.
“When I contacted Sritharan, the NBAS for a site that I would like to convert in Hutan Melintang, Perak, I knew at that instance that my business relationship with Chevron was only going to get better,” quoted the formidable man who is fondly known as Mr. Gan amongst the Chevron team. Mr Gan said that he was treated with utmost respect and was immediately attended to. The journey began in 2011 when Mr. Gan converted his competitor branded site to the Caltex brand, under Branded Marketer Scholfield Sdn. Bhd.
That is the first of many and since then, Mr. Gan has embarked on a journey of converting all of his competitor-branded stations in Nilai, Teluk Panglima Garang and Kuala Lipis in a mere span of eight years. To date, he has happily shifted close to 5 sites into the Caltex family and is planning on doing more in the future. And he is not stopping there, he also went about acquiring strategic land at Chevron’s preferred locations and expanded his RORO portfolio in fast-growing areas like Bestari Jaya and Bandar Baru Banting, to name a few.
His current network footprint includes places like Pandamaran, Port Klang, and Perling, Johor. As a multiple site operator, Mr. Gan owns and operates approximately 10 Caltex stations within our network and continues to build his pipelines, leveraging on his expertise in property investments. He has a workforce of 5 key staff, with an office based in Bandar Tasik Permaisuri, Kuala Lumpur.
Having ventured into many diversified businesses over the last 20 years, including land acquisitions, properties and construction, Mr. Gan finds this service station business by far, more rewarding, both financially and personally. “I get to interact and engage with the local community and provide employment to local staff within the vicinity,” Mr. Gan said.
He now has his children slowly following in his footsteps by assisting him in the business. “We are after all building for the future generation,” Mr. Gan said.
Known for his calm demeanor and for being soft spoken, when asked what his secret of success and lasting relationship with Chevron is, Mr. Gan said, “Most importantly the business has to be fair and just and I believe that Chevron employees are trained to negotiate a win-win deal for both the investors as well as for their company.”
Having worked with Chevron NBAS such as Sritharan, Steven Ho and Rizal Jaffar, Mr. Gan said he makes it a priority to spend time building on the relationship with the team either over a cup of coffee, lunch or at their boardroom, to understand where Chevron intends to grow and match that against his own expansion plans. In addition, he conducts regular check-ins with the Management to share his thoughts on improving station operations and other station related activities. “Expansion is one thing but operating on a day to day business as per standard is of utmost importance, and in fact it is the foundation for future expansion,” Mr. Gan said.
Having ensured that his stations continue to score high in both Image Stewardship and Customer First, last year, two of his stations won the STAR Incentive Award and he in return decided to dedicate the winnings to his staff by sending them on a Chevron sponsored trip to Tokyo, Japan. In a resounding and reassuring statement, Mr. Gan said – “All good things end with Caltex and I’m happy to be part of that journey”.
Mr. Gan owns and operates multiple Caltex stations through individual entities for licensing and strategic equity purposes, often bringing opportunities to other avid investors and partnering in joint ventures to set up new stations.