Let me firstly start by welcoming you all today to the official opening of the first new image WOQOD service station. You will all have the opportunity of experiencing first hand our new retail offering that we are so proud of.
It’s taken considerable effort and I would admit some very frustrating times. The end result is a service station offer that can compete internationally against the very best of competitors. Over time you will see more and more of these new image service stations across Qatar and we hope internationally in the near future. We are very proud of what we have achieved and I would like to share tonight some of the key highlights that have led us to where we are today and perhaps some key issues for the future.
- Clear leadership
From the first day I met our Vice President and Managing Director, Mohammed Khalifa Turki Al Sobai I knew that we would want to be creating something special. Through many discussions and iterations, we have arrived at where we are today. We looked at all elements of design, and customer needs and kept focused. Mohammed was great to work for, demanding and open to ideas and contribution. In difficult times it was to Mohammed we turned and he always gave clear direction and demonstrated his commitment to achieve something special.
- A Great Team
We have a terrific Team in WOQOD and have been able to create a real Team spirit with all our external suppliers and service providers.
My thanks go out to the Al Ryan Municipality for all their help and cooperation. To Kahramaa, Qtel, Civil Defense, the Police and to the Planning Department. Some times we may have confused you with our demands for new ways of doing things but really you have all proven to be very supportive and flexible to our needs. We all in WOQOD thank you for this and look forward to further cooperation as we build new sites.
Our main contractor on this site was GETTCO and they have been terrific in being flexible and adaptive to us as we have changed our minds and maybe met some unforeseen obstacles. We are very pleased with the quality of the building of this site; the finishing is truly world class.
We have an uncountable number of suppliers of all sorts from tanks to pumps to hot dogs and ice cream, lubricants, tires and DVD’s, Qpost, Bateel, Prestique Laundry. The list goes well past 200 suppliers overall. .
Our chief design company Circle was very patient with us as we worked on the initial designs and really did us proud in providing a design that will differentiate WOQOD as something special now and well into the future.
We have a very talented advertising and promotions Agency in Fortune Promoseven. They have taken the initial brand guidelines and supplied us with some excellent concepts designs for above and below the line advertising.
But most importantly I want to give my thanks to the Team within WOQOD. You all know who you are and how much you contributed to this special retail experience. It was a Team effort, across all departments in WOQOD from Marketing to Projects, Distribution, Technical, IT, Legal, Procurement, Audit, Finance and Administration. It was tough and at times created great debate. It has led to WOQOD now having the basis of a Team well able to grow the business both within Qatar and the region. A high performing Team that I personally really enjoy working with. Thank you for all your efforts.
Dedication to Customer Service
What you will see in our service station design is the result of QR6.5 million in development costs and QR 12 million in construction and equipment costs. We carried out extensive research into consumer attitudes and behaviours in Qatar, probably one of the most extensive studies ever carried out here. We understand what our customers need and will continue to seek their feedback to get things better and better over time.
Our designs are what customers told us they want. Forecourts that are easy to drive onto and easy to see the gasoline grades. Convenience stores that satisfy daily demand. Laundry services, postal services, fresh bread and milk, snacks and hot and cold beverages, most of your favourite consumer brands. Newspapers, magazines, DVD’s and
Our car washes are fast and effective yet recycle 90% of water used to minimise environmental impact. We have a large range of lubricants and tyre bays and workshops to help us maintain your car. A mosque is provided on sites where a mosque is not available locally.
Yet good design and product availability is not good enough. We want to pride ourselves in giving the very best in customer service. All of our customer service personnel have been through 200 hours of intensive training. This covers first aid, fire fighting, and basics of Arabic language, product knowledge and of course customer service.
So often we see excellent retail operations in Qatar and the region let down by inadequate training and development of employees. Our ambition is to excel in these areas and we will continue to train and develop our people and to reward service excellence.
Innovation is a key value for WOQOD.Our new sites have double walled underground tanks with leak detection systems. Fuels pipelines have been build to the latest international standards. The fuels dispensers we use are the most advanced technically and cannot be found outside of the USA yet. We are offering through this technology a new Fuels grade at 95 octane to satisfy customer demand.
Our pump attendants will offer to clean you car windscreen; a practise that we expect all our competitors will follow so improving customer service across Qatar.
The new Sidra brand shop brings convenience shopping to Qatar. These shops will be open 24 hours a day and will sell all your daily needs.
We will continue to research and introduce innovative solutions to our business in WOQOD to serve our customers better, minimise our impact on the environment and improve operational efficiencies.
- Minimising our impact on the Environment
All that we do has an impact on the environment and we always look at ways to improve in this area. Working with the excellent Friends of the Environment Centre we offer recycling points at our service stations and encourage our customers to leave their paper, plastic, glass and aluminium can waste with us. Can I here appeal to all companies represented here today to go and see the Friends of the Environment Centre? It’s doing some excellent work in educating children on the need to recycle and to become environmentally aware.
- In summary
Once again I pass on my personal thanks to all involved in making this new service station brand come together. Collectively we have created something special, a retail offering well able to compete with the best globally and one that will establish WOQOD as an exceptional service company, leading to satisfied customers and healthy profitable growth for our shareholders.