This Mumbai startup is leveraging IoT to deliver diesel at your doorstep

B2B startup The Fuel Delivery leverages IoT to avoid pilferage, adulteration, and unsafe practices in fuel delivery. It is currently working with over 500 clients.

The pandemic has opened the doors to various business opportunities, and on-demand delivery is one of them. From food, groceries, and medicines to home improvement items, everything is now available to customers at the click of a button. 

Keeping up with this trend, IIM alumnus Rakshit Mathur joined hands with Rajiv Mathur and Gaurav Adlakha to start The Fuel Delivery in 2020 to manage fuel requirements in a cost-effective and safe manner.

The Mumbai-based B2B startup delivers diesel to customers’ doorsteps while avoiding pilferage, adulteration, and unsafe practices and ensuring quality and quantity.

“As the pandemic-induced lockdown took hold, we thought, if everything can be delivered to the doorstep, why not diesel? At that time, the Indian government launched Door-to-Door Delivery (DDD) programme for startups. Thus, the company was formed, and we received our LOI (Letter of Intent) from Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL),” Rakshit says.

The founders bootstrapped The Fuel Delivery with an initial investment of Rs 4.5 crore.

How does it work?

The Fuel Delivery claims to provide convenience, compliance, and cost-effective solutions for its customers. 

The startup has an instant fuel delivery app, available for both Android and iOS users, where clients can order fuel through the mobile app. However, because it primarily serves businesses at different locations, The Fuel Delivery also accepts orders via email, toll-free phone, and through its service delivery staff, which is in constant contact with clients.

Rakshit says, “We obtain diesel directly from OMCs (Oil Marketing Companies) like IOCL and deliver it to clients’ doorsteps. For example, just as anybody can order food through an app like Swiggy or Zomato, any business can order diesel (only) through our app.”

The startup supplies fuel with bowser trucks-a tanker with a dispensing machine that is equipped with the latest IoT (Internet of Things) gadgets for tracking its location and the quantity of diesel. 

bowser trucks

The Fuel Delivery also provides scheduled and express delivery options according to customers’ requirements. It has services in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Jaipur, and Lucknow at present.

Meet the team

Rakshit, Founder and CEO, is an MBA graduate from the Indian Institute of Planning & Management, and has over 16-years of experience in sales and marketing, business development, channel and relationship management.

Before turning to entrepreneurship, he worked with companies like HSBC, Kotak Mahindra, and L&T Financial services, among others.

Rajiv, Co-founder and Managing Director, has over three decades of experience in business management and operations, technology solutions, brand building, security, and emergency response.

Co-founder and COO Gaurav, on the other hand, has years of leadership experience. He has worked in manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, and logistics for over 22-years, and brings a whole new perspective to the company.

Rakshit and Rajiv are family friends, and Gaurav was Rakshit's school friend. Later, Rakshit introduced Gaurav to Rajiv. At present, The Fuel Delivery has a team of 32 members.

Ensuring quality to customers 

To eliminate the chances of adulteration, The Fuel Delivery directly collects oil from the depot and delivers it to the customer’s location. While entering into a contract with a business client, the startup makes sure to send the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for quality and quantity check of fuel at the premises.

The company claims to provide instruments such as a hydrometer and a gauge for measuring the volume of the fuel to its customers for checking the quality and quantity of fuel while it is delivered. 

According to the team, the startup adheres to protocols, SOPs, and guidelines issued by the stakeholders. 

Rakshit states, “Our bowsers are PESO-approved and registered with the IOCL Depots Gantry from where we obtain fuel.”

Additionally, drivers and gasoline handlers are Hazmat-certified and follow a standard operating procedure for all actions–including fetching, dispensing, and idle time.

The Fuel Delivery primarily serves infrastructure development and real estate companies, including IT parks, data centres, hospitality, and hospitals, among others.

Some of its prominent clients are the Tata Group of companies–including Taj Hotels, Vivanta, Ginger, Taj Sats, TCS, and Tata Motors. It also delivers fuel to companies like HDFC Bank, UDAAN, Securitrans, Roop Polymers, Airbnb, EXICOM, Airtel, STT, and Allianz, to name a few. 

“Every task we perform is automated--from placing the order to tracking delivery, payment gateways, and tracking order history,” says Rakshit, while describing how the startup leverages IoT.

The business

The startup works for OMCs as a retailer and gets margins from them. “We deliver fuel to clients at the same price that is available in the city on the delivery date,” Rakshit says.

As of now, it claims its customer base is growing at a rate of 45–50 percent month-over-month (MOM). It claims to have delivered over 35 lakh litres of fuel to more than 500 companies till now. Customers can order a minimum of 100 litres and a maximum of 6,000 litres at a time. The Fuel Delivery app also has over 5,000 downloads. 

The startup charges Rs 199 per delivery as a convenience fee, irrespective of the order quantity. Since its inception, The Fuel Delivery claims to have generated approximately Rs 16.50 crore in revenue, with an annual growth rate of more than 85 percent.

The volume of Indian high-speed diesel (HSD) consumption in March 2021 was 7.2 MMT (Million Metric Tonnes), a 27.6 percent increase over the volume of 5.7 MMT in March 2020. 

According to Orion Market Reports, the global fuel delivery market was valued at $4148.8 million in 2021 and is projected to reach $4887.4 million by 2028, at a CAGR of 1.9 percent during the forecast year.

Many players are competing in the space, including FuelBuddy, Repso, Humsafar, Pepfuels, and MyPetrolPump, among others. 

Speaking about how the startup stands out from the competition, Rakshit says, “We ensure quality and quantity and provide 100 percent unadulterated fuel directly from depot to the doorstep.”

The road ahead

In January 2021, the startup raised $1 million funding in a seed round from angel investors. Currently, the startup is in talks to raise around $5 million in Series A round of funding in the next two to three months to further expand its footprint. 

According to the team, the Fuel Delivery plans to become a one-stop-solution for automobile needs. In addition to diesel, the startup is also planning to expand its product portfolio by offering CNG and gradually expanding into EV charging stations.

Rakshit says, “We are expanding our HSD business in other cities, including some state capitals and Tier-II cities.” 

The startup plans to target the B2C market as well in the coming years. It is also looking to expand to Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Africa by 2023.

“We intend to become one of the leading energy distribution companies by 2025,” says Rakshit. 

Edited by Megha Reddy


Updates from around the world