Petrotrade is an exemplary case study of a local business continuing to grow and diversify its operations and expanding its reaches locally and internationally. Its early establishment in a small market, to expanding its services and operations, obtaining three different quality certifications in one year, to being listed on the local stock exchange and now investing into projects that would help secure its future as the leader of its industry, makes the company a worthy winner in its category.
Words from the winner
Petroleum Trading Lao
Firing On All Cylinders
Petrotrade delivers accessible petroleum products to Laos.
Petroleum Trading Lao Public Company (Petrotrade) was founded in Laos by Chanthone Sitthixay on February 6 2008 with the registered capital of US$4 million. The company’s mission was to provide accessible petroleum products at fair prices to Lao citizens. The inspiration for the establishment of Petrotrade came from the firsthand experiences of the founder who realized that access to fuel supply in remote areas of Laos was limited, with inflated unfair prices which created significant economic damage to businesses and the development of the country.
Petrotrade quickly developed into a major player in the Lao petroleum industry. It opened its first major gas station and storage terminal with a capacity of 800,000 liters in 2009. It obtained quality certifications of ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007 from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), all in 2010. In 2011, Petrotrade opened its first ‘lifestyle’ Platinum Plus Gas Station in Vientiane, Laos, making it the first station that provided services such as banking, mini mart, café and restaurant, and car care services. In 2014, Petrotrade became a member of the Lao Petroleum and Gas Association and was listed on the Lao Securities Exchange (LSX), the first petroleum company to do so in Laos.
In 2015, Petrotrade updated its quality certifications of UKAS – ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and OHSAS 18001:2015; and was awarded the Platinum Membership Award 2015 from SGS (the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company). Petrotrade’s market share of 12.5 percent of total Lao PDR consumption of 1.208 billion liters (2018), enables it to supply over 153 million liters of petroleum products to over eight million people nationwide through over 115 gas stations all around the country.
In its mission to become the leader in the petroleum industry, Petrotrade has focused on developing its people to become one of the most capable and experienced teams in Laos. The company provides its staff with training in the field of sales, marketing, finance, accounting, human resource management, administration, and international language studies such as English and Chinese. Petrotrade employees enjoy a myriad of benefits including free children’s daycare service for new mothers and fathers. At two percent, Petrotrade has one of the lowest staff turnover rates in the country. Petrotrade is also committed to providing educational scholarships to young students, along with opportunities for internships and jobs after graduation. Petrotrade also extends financial assistance to citizens in the more rural and remote areas of Laos as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
Petrotrade’s biggest challenge is the global shift from fossil fuels towards renewable energy. The company has viewed this challenge as an opportunity to diversify its business by partnering, investing in and developing energy projects that would help power the future of Laos. These projects include thermal power plants, solar power projects, electric vehicles and the addition of electric charging docks at Petrotrade gas stations nationwide. Investment in these projects will help Petrotrade maintain its growth position and benefit from future changes in the local and global petroleum market.