Ashok Leyland has launched the ‘eN-Dhan’ fuel card, in partnership with Hindustan Petroleum corporation (HPCL)’s ‘Drive Track Plus’ program. This card is intended to provide best-in-class savings in fuel to customers. This initiative with HPCL and the customer solutions business of Ashok Leyland is said to be the first initiative in India where an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and an oil marketing company (OMC) have collaborated to create a co-branded card.
Ashok Leyland claims that it would result in annual savings in the range of Rs 50,000 per annum per truck, especially for customers in the medium and heavy commercial vehicle (M&HCV) segment.
The eN-Dhan cards are free of charge and will be available in all Ashok Leyland dealerships across the country and can be used in all HPCL fuel stations. The loyalty program runs on point basis where they basically redeem points whenever it is used to pay for fuel. The company has confirmed that the prepaid eN-Dhan fuel cards can be recharged with up to Rs 100,000 per month either through net banking or mobile banking.
Speaking on the new initiative, Vinod K. Dasari, managing director, said, “Our analysis shows that the current fuel spends on a commercial vehicle in India is between 35 percent and 60 percent of its lifecycle cost. Since fuel cost is the major expense, we came up with this fuel card program to help vehicle owners save on this expense and optimise total cost of operations (TCO). Besides savings in fuel cost, the card will promote digital payments and offer enhanced insurance benefits to drivers.”
G S V Prasad, executive director – retail HPCL said, “HPCL-Ashok Leyland partnership is essential for serving the common customer - the trucker, who buys chassis from Ashok Leyland and buys fuel from HPCL. This is first of its kind partnership wherein an energy major is partnering with an automobile major for fueling the vehicles from the time it is rolled out of the factory.”
He further added, “HPCL believes in improving the logistics efficiency of the vehicles by providing superior quality fuels and lubricants to the customers/fleets owners. The co-branded card ‘eN-Dhan’ will be accepted at all HPCL outlets and we would also like to take the entire business on to a cardless platform which is in sync with the ‘Digital India’ initiative of the Government of India. HPCL is also embarking on a plan to automate all its 15,100 retail outlets pan-India by December 2018 which will also be integrated with digital transactions.”
In order to enhance the benefit of the card, HPCL is also looking forward to incorporate toll payments under this program. “At the very initial stage, as a closed user group program, we are discussing with RBI for giving us approval for extending this card facility to the toll plazas which is a major outgo of a truck owner. Once RBI approval comes in and links this, then any customer who uses the DriveTag plus card or eN-Dhan will be able to pass through any toll plaza. This way, the same money that the truck driver is paying with the card for fuel can be used for payment of toll too”, said G S V Prasad.
Apart from buying gifts, a customer could also use the loyalty points from the cards to buy services or spare parts from Ashok Leyland and amongst others. It is also possible to en-cash money through the loyalty points.
Though there are several other loyalty programs currently available in the market, Ashok Leyland expects this to be an exclusive tie-up with not just large fleet operators but even for a small fleet owner or even for the single truck owner. The benefit of the eN-Dhan program can be availed for vehicles belonging to other manufacturers as well.