Preparing a Business Plan for a Petroleum Industry Portals Foray into E-Commerce

Background and Challenge

The client had developed India?s first vertical portal solely dedicated to the petroleum industry. With its immense knowledge and contacts in India and abroad in the petroleum industry, the client was confident of providing high value services through an online exchange. The promoters had initially envisaged the portal to be a directory, listing the service providers across the world and providing a function by which providers could reply to the request for quotes. UC was requested to assist in preparing a business plan for the portal?s foray into e-commerce and to identify other services to add value to the portal. The website was under development at the time UC was engaged.

Approach and Recommendations

To define the business plan for the client, UC adopted the following approach:

  • Defined the value chain of the petroleum industry, the key players and the needs of the players at various levels in the value chain
  • Benchmarked and analysed existing portals (national and international) in the similar and/ or related industries
  • Defined the various products and services to be provided on the portal to attract the various communities online
  • Researched and identified the business model to be adopted based on the market potential and client capabilities.
  • The key revenue streams identified were through the following products -

    1) An online exchange for the buying and selling of petroleum products

    2) An online exchange for the buying and selling of petroleum products

    3) Futuristic buying and selling of petroleum products

  • Defined the high level functionality and other products and services to be offered by the portal and identified the various sources of revenue for the same
  • Prepared high level financial projections based on the revenue and costs estimations
  • Designed an implementation plan based on the activities required to be undertaken as per the entire project plan
  • TAssisted the client in key presentations to the strategic investors, alliance partners and industry players


The client was successful in forming strategic alliances with key entities. It also received offers and/or queries from a number of national and international portals for a stake in or alliance with the venture.