How one of the South African fuel industry's biggest transformational deal payouts came to be

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(Image: Pexels)
(Image: Pexels)

The South African energy sector is undergoing significant and exciting change, and the fuel retail industry is at the forefront of transformational change in this country.

Although historically, wealth and ownership have been concentrated within the industry, new partnerships and initiatives by banks and other vital role players are helping grow the sector and share benefits with a broader base of business owners.

In 2018, Nedbank Commercial Bank's franchise team undertook a rigorous industry assessment to identify industry nuances and craft a differentiated funding model aimed at lowering barriers of entry in order to support the acceleration of transformation appointees within the fuel sector.

These funding models facilitate opening new sites or buying existing fuel sites from various oil companies. And while establishing the differentiated funding models, the Nedbank Commercial Bank franchise team identified vital role players that could offer support and mentorship to qualifying BEE candidates.

To assist with this process, Nedbank aligned with PetroCONNECT to help advance and enable transformation in the fuel sector.

According to Prithivan Pillay, Head: Client Value Propositions at Nedbank Commercial Banking , PetroCONNECT developed a successful screening, training, monitoring and mentorship program to develop the required skills for new ownership entrants to the fuel retailer industry.

"In partnership with Nedbank Commercial Banking, this program from PetroCONNECT is augmented through the necessary empowerment funding and banking solutions to ensure success," says Pillay.

PetroCONNECT’ S fuel readiness programme is an ideal tool for individuals wishing to enter the sector. It introduces candidates to what it takes to operate a service station in South Africa successfully.

"PetroCONNECT provides skills-based training material, assessments, and a practical in-depth on-site experience. It was the perfect match for Thandi Ngxongo, an individual with nearly two decades of experience in the petroleum and retail service station industry," says Pillay.

After application, Ngxongo was appointed for a BP service station in Kwa-Zulu Natal. PetroCONNECT assisted with the sale agreements between the buyer and seller. Once the franchise team received the financial pack, the application was referred to the business manager to contact Ngxongo. She assisted the client with the preparation and application of the purchase.

Pillay says the deal's success was due to a collaborative effort between PetroCONNECT, the customer service team, and the franchise team, and it resulted in the funding being approved based on a transformation funding model.

"As a result, Nedbank provided the client with transactional solutions, including cash and card solutions, with backup portable point-of-sale devices. Nedbank had installed these by the time the client was ready to operate her site. Nedbank Group Insurance Brokers also offered insurance for guarantees and life and disability cover through our financial planning partners," says Pillay.

Pillay says this is by no means the only industry or example where Nedbank has helped businesses with their transformational goals. However, it's a transformation success story worth noting, given how it successfully brought essential roleplayers together.

Ngxongo agrees and spoke highly of the combined efforts of all parties to bring one of the industry's biggest transformational deal payouts to fruition.

"A big thank you to Nedbank for financing this deal, to BP for their unwavering commitment to sustainable transformation, and of course to PetroCONNECT for facilitating this entire transaction from beginning to end!" said Ngxongo.

This post was sponsored by Nedbank and produced by Adspace Studio.

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