GoFuel, a Chennai-based start-up, has begun delivering diesel to customers’ doorsteps in the city. The company claims to be India’s first, non-OMC branded mobile fuel distributor approved by PESO (Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation) – the nodal agency that oversees safety requirements of the explosives and petroleum sectors in the country.
GoFuel has obtained licences for its operations from all the three major OMCs (oil marketing companies), including Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum. Vinodhraj, founder and CEO of GoFuel, told Autocar India, “We are looking to impact various industries including the agricultural society and be a significant game-changer, by offering convenience to the customer.”
Fuel delivery via smartphone app
Customers can place an order for diesel through GoFuel’s smartphone app. The company has deployed multiple bowsers (fuel dispensing trucks) in the city that collect supplies from depots or approved retail locations of any of the three OMCs and deliver fuel at the customer’s location.
Moreover, the company will be matching the prices of diesel at fuel stations and will not be charging a delivery or convenience fee for the time being, however, this is expected to change as the company expands its operations.
For now, GoFuel will only be delivering diesel and serving commercial entities like industries and manufacturing plants, construction sites, residential complexes, banks, hospitals, malls, warehouses and the agricultural sector.
The company hopes to add petrol delivery, as well as mobile EV (electric vehicle) charging facilities, to its operations in the future, depending on regulatory framework. “We would like to expand into the transport sector as well, subject to announcements and approvals from the ministry and OMCs,” said the firm’s CEO.
He added, “The opportunity given by the Government of India is ideal to ensure that we build a network across the country. Hopefully,this network is not just for diesel, and it opens up for trucks and passenger vehicles, including petrol (vehicles). Hopefully, we'll also be able to move our network towards the electric ecosystem which might come up in the future – that's the vision.”
GoFuel claims several benefits
The company has touted multiple advantages of its services. First off, its customers avoid the hassle of arranging diesel from fuel stations and transporting the supplies themselves. Buyers also circumvent the tricky task of storing huge quantities of fuel using PESO-approved safety procedures.
Through the firm’s mobile app, online invoices and digital dashboard services, customers can track and plan their fuel consumption.
Moreover, GoFuel claims that its services will help prevent pilferage and adulteration of fuel. Once the company’s ‘smart’ bowsers have been refilled at the OMC depots, they are sealed. Equipped with the IoT (internet of things) technology, the trucks can then only dispense fuel at the buyer’s location after entering an OTP shared with the customer.
GoFuel has commenced operations in Chennai, and in the next 6-8 months, it will roll-out services across 16 other cities, including Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Tuticorin, Cochin and Gurgaon. The company’s CEO further said that there are plans of deploying 1,000 bowsers across the country by 2022, and to double that figure the year after.
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