Mukeshbhai’s DODO, COCO & CODO
Mukesh Ambani committed an investment of Rs 2,500 crores during his maiden visit to the state for the Advantage Assam summit. Brilliant! Retail outlets to be increased from 2 to 40. Petrol depots to be increased from 27 to 165. Many jobs to be created within this retailing sector itself. A rosy picture of development indeed!
But as his captive audience, ‘mesmerized’ by his speech, I have an observation. For paucity of space let’s talk about just Reliance petroleum. So far, the existing 27 Reliance petrol depots have been created on the DODO model – dealer owned dealer operated. What this essentially means is that a person who is keen on operating a Reliance petrol dispensing outlet and having the requisite plot that satisfies all criteria becomes a dealer with financial investment to the tune of nearly Rs. 1.5 crores by way of security deposit with Reliance, purchase of equipment from Reliance, setting up the basic infrastructure as per requirements of Reliance and having a reasonable working capital to sell petrol from Reliance.
Now, I have been given to understand that there is another model called the COCO – company owned company operated - and so far as my knowledge goes, Reliance had purchased two plots at two different locations of Assam long back which now apparently have only wild grass growth to show. I have also reliably learnt that the committed investment of Mukeshbhai pertains to the COCO model which essentially means that big investments are indeed being mulled, Reliance executives are already being put on top gear mode to scout for suitable land all over the northeast and the actual figure that Mukeshbhai is looking at is 200 – 35 more than committed.
If there is truth in this matter – which I am keen on believing there is – then plenty of jobs are sure to be created only through the petroleum arm of the Reliance business empire. However, certain pitfalls remain. After all, it is not legally permissible to acquire or purchase land in the hill states like Meghalaya etc and the company might just have to consider the CODO model – company owned dealer operated – in such situations. Well, plenty of reasons to feel good thanks to Mukeshbhai.