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Fueling a model of Surinamese efficiency

Article - January 26, 2012
Ability to act swiftly has seen RBE flourish, and excellence in both customer and environmental care will surely see the company achieve a 20% share of the Surinamese fuel market by 2020
Established in 1948, Roy Boedhoe Enterprises (RBE) is a third generation family business. Originally a small shop on the Commewijne River, RBE has grown – via excellent local and international relationships – from supplying kerosene for lamps (to indigenous communities)to being a nationwide supplier and distributor of fuels, and a key player in the economic resurgence of the territory.

With 86 incentivized, highly trained employees, 33 gas stations and 13 trucks, it sells fuel, diesel and gasoline products from Chevron Texaco, as well as importing its own mix from Exxon Mobile. It also imports gas equipment, tanks and parts from Gilbarco. They are proud to be certified Gilbarco technicians.

A core family strength is an ability to identify opportunity. In 1973, when fuel supply to the right bank of the Commewijne was abandoned by the Suriname Shipping Company, Roy’s grandfather stepped in.  “He started with one village, then another, then another …”

Similarly, during the 1982 military coup when contractors experienced problems obtaining fuel, Roy himself was “ready to assume that challenge,” transporting Esso Standard Oil.  “We forged a good relationship with the customers, and in 1986, Esso gave me a contract to distribute fuel in all the country.”

The company’s success has also been built on excellent customer care. “I personally visit my clients twice every month. I ask about our drivers, delivery, services, everything…We strive to be the leading example in customer care in Suriname.”

Due emphasis is also placed on environmental care and staff  training. RBE is proud to be not only a safe oil distributor, but one which is focused on achieving zero environmental impact.

The company has a 12% market share. The intent is to increase this to 20% by 2020. A keen eye is being kept on the State Oil Company’s expanding refinery, to be completed by 2014.

“We’ll be looking at what our State Oil Company will be able to do. Then we too will move forward,” Roy says.

Meantime, he promises when a customer calls, the phone won’t ring more than three times.