Out of fuel? This Bengaluru startup will home-deliver itAfter startups offering services ranging from errand boys to household maids comes this new idea of doorstep delivery of fuel
In a latest offering that becomes part of a rising trend of door-to-door services catching up across the country, a Bengaluru-based startup has begun home delivery services of diesel at the day’s running price with a fixed delivery charge. The one-year-old firm, Mypetrolpump, conducted a soft launch a week ago with three delivery vehicles - each with a capacity of 950 litres - and has already delivered more than 5,000 litres of diesel.
The development comes just weeks after the government said that the Centre was thinking of rolling out such a system but had been unable to do so due to resistance from petroleum dealers.
Customers out of fuel or running low on it will no longer need to stand in long queues at petrol pumps. All one needs to do is to visit website mypetrolpump.com or call 7880504050 to book an order for diesel. The minimum order has been set at 20 litres. For up to 100 litres, the one-time delivery charge is Rs 99. Above 100 litres, one needs to pay the diesel price plus one additional rupee per litre. The startup, which currently operates in a limited area of Bengaluru, already has some 20-odd customers, including 16 schools (which have 250-300 buses) and a few apartments. The service runs from 6 am to 8 pm.
"We've been in touch with the petroleum ministry since September 2016. After having convinced the officials, we had two meetings with the minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, who appreciated our innovation," Ashish Kumar Gupta, the 32-year-old founder of Mypetrolpump and an alumnus of IIT-Dhanbad told TOI.
Asked why the firm was only supplying diesel, Gupta, who quit his Rs 1,60,000 per annum job with Shell Global Solutions to start his firm, said, "Petrol is used only in bikes and cars, but diesel is used for power, in industries, by large vehicles and for farming. The per annum diesel consumption in India is 77 million metric tonne (MMT) versus 22-MMT of petrol. We will be offering petrol in the future."
The vehicles used for delivery have been specially fabricated by a firm approved by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation. All necessary permissions have been obtained, said Gupta. The vehicles have approved valves and are earthed as they carry non-conductive fuel. They are equipped with metres and filtration systems and also come with an anti-siphoning system to prevent fuel theft and adulteration.
"We only play the role of a delivery agent. We are not buying, storing and selling fuel. When we get an order, our vehicle goes to the petrol pump, fills fuel and delivers that to the customer," Gupta was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, with the service launched and expected to catch eyes soon, there have been safety concerns raised over the concept of doorstep delivery of fuel. A K Yadav, Joint Chief Controller of Explosives, Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO), said: “We have not given permission to any firms to operate door-to-door delivery of fuel. It is also unsafe since it is not adhering to any safety norms. The state police should take action against the firm”.
Suresh Kumar, an executive committee member of the Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers said: “This concept was failed in the US and also did not get the approval of explosives department because of the safety issues. Though the idea is good, safety is a concern”.
However, the website mypetrolpump.com said: “Our operators are IRTE trained in safe handling of fuel”.