Disruption in Diesel Retailing – Doorstep Delivery of Diesel is here!
With the Government clearing the decks for doorstep delivery of fuel in April 2017, by the Hon’ble Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, this concept has picked up and gained momentum.
Initially, startups tried adopting the concept of Diesel Door Delivery, however, sustenance was a challenge due to lack of adequate funds and strategy from their end. These were followed by more mature startups, who understood the game and the ecosystem better. Eventually, petrol pump dealers saw the writing on the wall and began joining the bandwagon.
Because of these opportunities for new players, the face of Petroleum Retailing will never be the same again, as big players in the market are making corrective changes to survive this disruption.
Convenience for Customers
Doorstep delivery of fuel is a relatively new concept in fuel dispensation. It brings several advantages to the customer by making his life a lot simpler, for one - he no longer has to go to a retail outlet to refuel, thus saving him time and money.
Also, customers at remote locations are at an advantage with doorstep delivery of fuel, as their heavy machinery and farm harvesters can be refueled at ease. This is of great convenience to them as fuel is reaching their doorsteps (This is the type of service; the customer was yearning for). As service quality improves, customer loyalty is built up, with both the customer and the retailer understanding each other, making life simpler for both in the long run.
Over time small and medium level retailing units are gaining a lot. Until recently, these retailing units were in the unorganised sector, delivering fuel without authorisation. With the new transformational changes happening, many of these units have gained credibility and acceptance. With advanced technology being adopted by mobile bowsers, the customers can now track the movements of these fuel delivery vans.
With this collective change initiated by the oil marketing companies and various startups, in reducing carbon footprints, thus making the policy makers in the Petroleum Ministry happy. The situation at the ground level is a lot better with less traffic on the roads and also saving time, money, space, manpower and pilferage.
Change in Diesel Retailing Landscape
The fuel delivery landscape has changed considerably with bowsers that are geo-tagged from the start to the end of the operation. In simple terms, it means that the bowsers unlock themselves only at the customer end. Also, with digitized billing the customer is assured of the exact amount he has ordered.
Entrepreneurs in fuel retail outlets have had suddenly new doors open for them as he is able to service customers at remote locations without any hindrances. In other words, mobile bowsers have virtually become mini retail outlets, with technology ensuring safety and accuracy.
Employment opportunities will substantially increase as these new operations require skilled crew who also double up as drivers and customer service attendants. Growth is assured due to increased penetration of diesel vehicles throughout the country
Oil Marketing companies now have a huge opportunity at hand as it allows them to expand beyond their traditional way of doing business. In the past, they looked at the market in two ways – Retail Outlets and Institutional Sales, but now, with the new reforms coming in the industry, Oil Marketing Companies have expanded beyond Retail Outlets and Institutional Sales to service customers at their doorsteps. However, Philip Kotler’s - 4Ps (Product, Price, Place and Promotion) of Marketing are now applied differently for each segment.
Private fuel retailers are expected to corner at least 10-12% of market share. This once again brings about new opportunities for employment. The industry is expected to be on sure footing this year, because of the growing penetration of diesel vehicles in the country.
Advantages of Doorstep Delivery of Diesel to Retailers and Customers
Far flung industries, hospitals and other emergency services have come to benefit the most from this service. Farmers can utilize the doorstep delivery app to refuel their heavy machinery and harvesters, thus allowing him to plan his day more appropriately.
Doorstep delivery of diesel can now be compared to an e-com platform. Why do we say that? Because doorstep delivery is now the way of doing business, from the traditional brick and mortar concept to the digital way, most of your requirements are now met by apps, diesel delivery being one of them.
Areas where services of many items are in doubt (remote locations), diesel delivery will not be one of them. This has given an assurance to local industries that their production will not be hampered.
Doorstep diesel delivery is the future, and no one can wish it away. With regulatory barriers slowly lifting and the government focusing more and more on customers for delivery of fuel to their locations, the winner will be those who have the customers best interests in their mind. This begins by building up customer loyalty through safety and integrity.