India is rapidly progressing on the economic front. Industrial and infrastructure development is at an all-time high level despite the impact of the pandemic, and the scale of activities is only going to increase in the years to come. To support this growth, the Government of India is aiming to encourage innovative businesses and startups helping in transformation of existing services. Towards this end, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has now roped in various technology driven-startups to facilitate door-step delivery of high-speed diesel to commercial end-users.
There are a number of industrial equipment that consume large volumes of diesel every day, but the operators of such equipment or oversized vehicles don’t have facilities for storage of adequate fuel to run their operations. Thus, they are compelled to procure fuel from the retail outlets in an unscientific, cumbersome and usually unsafe manner using private vehicles. The staff deputed for procurement of diesel is often not trained and equipped to manage the statutory procedures which fuel delivery/handling necessitates.
Therefore, the move to integrate private sector startups into the arena of doorstep diesel delivery is a brilliant step which will help in streamlining the operations of various businesses and public facilities. Heavy industries such as mining and construction use equipment such as cranes and oversize dump trucks etc which require refueling onsite. Similarly, heavy diesel generators are used by a number of industries, commercial complexes and group housing societies which can now benefit from such doorstep delivery of fuel.
This step is also helping India prepare for its ambitions of economic growth and becoming a global manufacturing hub by offering the confidence of consistent fuel supply for daily operations. Digitization and efficiency of operations has become a strategic requirement in all industry verticals globally, and India’s joining the bandwagon is a well-timed and futuristic move. There are so many benefits of doorstep fuel delivery for all stakeholders:
Ease for end-users
In the Indian fuel retail landscape, the emergence of doorstep fuel delivery has come as a fresh breath. The end-users stand to benefit from this move as it has simplified operations for them and removed multiple concerns in one go. They no longer need to make frequent trips to the fuel
outlets to buy diesel for their daily operations. This results in significant saving of time and money.
The advantage is even greater for the industries that operate at remote and difficult to access locations such as the mining industry or the telecom towers located in difficult terrains. Through the doorstep delivery mechanism, whether it is the generator that powers the communication tower, or the harvester at a farm or the heavy equipment at construction sites, everything can function smoothly. The smooth functioning of the equipment in turn boosts productivity and customer satisfaction.
The small manufacturing units stand to gain a lot from these arrangements as they now don’t have to face the challenges of procuring and storing diesel in bulk and optimise inventory. In all of it, it is partnering the mission of ‘ease of doing business ‘revolution in India.
Streamlining of diesel retail services
The technology driven operation of fuel delivery start-ups helps in streamlining and optimizing of the retail operations. They are able to serve a diverse clientele with great ease and safety. Further, the technology driven operation and monitoring of geo-tagged fuel bowsers ensures prevention of fuel theft and pilferage. The buyers are assured of the Quality & Quantity and therefore value for money.
Employment generation for the public
The new age doorstep retail of fuel will also require hiring a lot of personnel by the fuel delivery companies such as drivers and customer service attendants etc. The end-users will also witness greater business output with the assurance of hassle-free fuel delivery.
Business development for OMCs
The small manufacturing units stand to gain a lot from these arrangements as they now don’t have to face the challenges of procuring and storing diesel in bulk and optimise inventory
Oil Marketing Companies can now leverage this new service to expand their market coverage beyond the conventional retail system which was bound to petrol pumps. Today, the companies can move beyond retail outlets and reach the doorstep of customers, something that was previously unexplored as per the new policy. Since the private sector start-ups /fuel entrepreneurs will play a crucial role in executing the services, this also indicates growth potential for the private sector.
The way forward
The intent and initiative exhibited by the Government of India and OMCs has potential of tremendous growth and revenue generation. However, moving forward, further liberalisation in terms of opening up more sectors will broaden the spectrum of this great initiative. This will prompt a number of Startups of entering the business with enabling ecosystem, to thrive sustainably, with ample revenue generation potential with opening of newer avenues. There is an oppurtunity and need to reduce the transaction charges on credit/debit card payments for startups which is expected to invite the attention of the authorites. This move will further help reducing costs and scale better as well as in attracting the much-needed investments.
Digital innovation is the future in any industry and the technology driven doorstep delivery of fuel is a major step towards this and in the business evolution of fuel retailing. Further easing of will bring in convenience coupled with customer delight.