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GenSan-based gas station shares its trade secrets

A small but profitable gasoline station based in General Santos City shares insights to entrepreneurs who are considering putting up the same business. Find out how such businesses can overcome intense competition and other setbacks that hound the industry.
By James Humarang |
GenSan-based gas station shares its trade secrets
<>One may wonder why and how despite the well publicized volatility in petroleum prices, gasoline stations still thrive. For a small player like Ynnah Petrol, effective business management keeps it profitable despite the odds.

The gasoline station operates in General Santos City in South Cotabato. It is currently co-managed by April John Ray Copia, a 26-year-old law student who is in-charge of the family business. Just like all other small gasoline shops in the country, Ynnah Petrol is facing competition from the big players.

However, Copia is confident that they can outlive their local competitors. He is sure that their regular customers will continue to prefer their business over its three rivals in the area. “We are more flexible in terms of prices than the Big 3,” he revealed. Obviously, its small scale has become more of an advantage.

Ynnah Petrol

Ynnah Petrol was established in 2010 by Copia’s father, 56-year-old Raymundo. The older Copia was an employee of Petron for more than three decades before he decided to tender his resignation so he could startup his own gasoline business. Fortunately, he did not burn bridges when he retired from the major oil player. The small retailer now taps supplies (at lower costs) from Petron and from other companies like Phoenix and Seaoil. ynnah_2.JPG

The small gasoline station was constructed in a strategic property that the Copias own. Ynnah Petrol has initially formed business partnerships with 10 businesses from various sectors in the city. It supplies gasoline to the transport fleet of all those firms using a purchase-order (PO) system, wherein payments for transactions are consolidated and settled on a monthly basis. Of course, it also formed loyalty from local private motorists.

Common problems

The common problems that hound Ynnah Petrol are not about supplies and prices but about basic operational issues. First, its personnel sometimes load the wrong product. This may cause great inconvenience both on the side of the car owner and of the gasoline station. At times, errors like overfilling may also be inevitable.

In some cases, customers tend to intimidate their personnel. This is why Ynnah Petrol facilitates customer service trainings for their regular employees. “We have proven that it is an effective strategy. For almost a year since we first conducted such trainings, we have been able to prevent cases of wrong loading and overspill,” the younger Copia revealed.

Interestingly, competition is not a problem anymore for this small gasoline station. In fact, Copia disclosed that their business is enjoying strong patronage because their products generally have lower price tags compared to those sold by the major players. They also supply gasoline to many other small retailers from the surrounding towns.

Consultation services

Copia disclosed that his father is now actively offering consultancy services to other entrepreneurs (in the city and surrounding areas) who are considering putting up their own gasoline stations. The older Copia is willing to teach others about ways to monitor and analyze international crude oil prices, anticipate or forecast market movements, and make practical adjustments on prices.

ynnah_3.JPGBusiness consultations are free in one condition: that those small gasoline stations would agree to buy gasoline from Ynnah Petrol within specified and agreed upon contract duration. Consultancy services can be availed any day of the week. They also welcome inquiries from entrepreneurs in other parts of Mindanao.

To learn more about Ynnah Petrol and its consultancy services, contact April John Ray Copia at 0932 1319634 or email him at  


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