Gasoline station with clean restrooms works–businessmanBy Aileen Garcia-Yap
Cebu Daily News
He wanted initially to invest in an air conditioning business, where he would create his own brand dubbed Rex Air.
However, another opportunity to go into another business venture opened and businessman Rex Carampatana decided to try his luck as a gasoline station dealer. He succeeded and in six months of operation Carampatana became the top retailer of the fourth quarter of 2011.
He introduced a new concept of how a gasoline station should be – a place where people could relax while waiting for their cars to be serviced by his gasoline station crew.
Carampatana said the exposure he got from hotels and resorts in the first business venture – Rex Air – helped him to reinvent a typical gasoline station.
“I wanted to make it a destination,” he said.
His concept involves having clean, comfortable and luxurious restrooms in his gasoline station, a fully air-conditioned conference room and a very efficient, courteous gasoline station crew.
Carampatana said he wanted to invest in the business after he saw an attractive commercial about becoming a Shell Gasoline station dealer started it all.
“They had a very good concept and I thought why not try and apply although that time I was also toying with the idea of my own airconditioning brand since I go to China at least four times in a year,” said Carampatana.
Carampatana won the dealership and was offered to assume an existing gasoline station in Lawaan, Talisay City.
The clean, luxurious restroom was a priority for the gasoline station.
“The gasoline station is along the highway connecting to the rest of the southern destinations of Cebu. I thought of the tourists and how they would need a place where they can do “comfort” stops. So I setup the restroom just like how hotels set up their restrooms complete with an area for books, magazines, aroma candles and wall paintings,” he said.
Carampatana also set up a function room and a conference room, which were fully airconditioned and equipped with projectors where people can do small meetings.
“We also have a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi access for those who want to relax while we are servicing their cars like change oil or car wash,” he said.
Since he started a year before, Carampatana said that his new concept for a gasoline station was effective as he was already seeing a lot of traffic coming to the station for service checkups, gasoline or just those staying to unwind.
“Now we have doubled the average monthly volume sales compared to the previous operators’ monthly sales,” said Carampatana.
In April this year, Carampatana opened his second station in Tagbilaran, Bohol and growing his manpower to 65 people from 27 people when he started.
Looking at the tourism industry of Cebu and Bohol, Carampatana said that he’s happy that in his little way he was able to help in the industry.
“One of the problems now is having a place for tourists to stop where there are clean and comfortable comfort rooms. I’m glad to have started that,” he said.
Carampatana said the Shell company had already awarded him the top retailer for the fourth quarter of 2011, only six months after he started operations and again in the first quarter of this year.
“I believe that my concept has something to do with it. Aside from the comfortable facilities, I also trained my people to always make their customers feel welcome. Upon entrance, our gasoline attendants will guide them. We refer to our customers as our guests,” said Carampatana.
Because of his success, Carampatana said that Shell was also encouraging other retailers to follow Carampatana’s concept.
“The more stations that will do this, the better because it will improve the whole Shell brand. Just imagine how many stations one will pass by going to the different destinations in Cebu and Bohol all having the same comfort and luxury to offer,” said Carampatana.
He said he planned to have at least five stations by 2014, which would mean having three more stations within two years time.