Innovation is a major part of any business plan that’s trying to be successful. Bringing the people what they need in a unique way is what builds you up for success. Gauging the market, figuring out what’s lacking and working on fixing that gap is a sure-fire recipe to get your company off the ground.
We have seen this phenomenon time and time again in various different fields. On-demand services are one such example. With the advent of mobile app technology and their subsequent explosion in popularity, one thing became very apparent. People of this generation have grown used to expecting services at their convenience and with the least amount of hassle.
From ride-hailing services like Uber, Lyft, and Ola to food delivery services like Uber and Swiggy, to even more niche-oriented services, on-demand services have managed to corner a large segment of the market in almost no time at all.
This natural progression was only destined to get stronger as more and more app oriented enterprises started to crop up to cater to the rising demand for accessibility and convenience.
The Start Of An Idea
In 2016, one such idea cropped up on the minds of an ambitious group of entrepreneurs. MyPetrolPump is a start-up on-demand service provider that had a novel approach to an inconvenience that had been plaguing vehicle owners around the world. They were one of the first companies in the country to start fuel delivery services. Catering to customers at the comfort of their homes, MyPetrolPump strived to bring them diesel directly to their doorstep.
This was a huge hit amongst the population. It was a novel idea at the time and more importantly, it relegated the need for vehicle owners to make the transit to petrol stations every time they needed to fuel their cars and bikes. With a dedicated application, all one had to do was push a few buttons and have a diesel (petrol delivery is restricted) brought straight to their homes.
But disaster struck only a year later when government bodies took issue with the fuel delivery company and had them temporarily stop operations. By this time, the company had already roped in a lot of customers and was left stumped.
It took them some time but they were up on their feet once more and got back into action after jumping through numerous regulatory loopholes.
According to Pankaj Mehta, a partner at a reputed Delhi law firm, “Setting up, operating and scaling up an on-demand fuel start-up is a challenge in India owing to the plethora of regulations, licensing and guidelines that begin from acquiring fuel till the point the process of storing and consuming the fuel so acquired.”
One such problem is the fact that fuel is separated into three different categories, each of which has to follow different regulations.
With so many regulations in place, it might seem like a deterrent for future investment in the industry but the opposite is true. Due to the inability of the existing petrol pumps in India to meet the growing demands of the new-age customer, many are turning to on-demand fuel services to fill their needs. The companies, of course, recognize this and are willing to traverse the legal tightropes which have become a part of the industry.
Recognizing this fact, the government of India has also started to take the necessary steps to revise its regulatory standards regarding fuel.
From its point of view, the government claims that fuel delivery providers like MyPetrolpump are running a dangerous business that could endanger the lives of the public. They forced oil companies to stop dealing with the on-demand fuel provider.
A few months later, MyPetrolPump re-entered the industry with a redesigned mobile dispenser. But still, the marketplace was a grey area where regulatory standards were unclear and tiptoed around.
They do not appear to have direct connections with any Oil Marketing Companies and instead get their supply fuel from private dealers, topping up regular dispensing units which are illegal as doorstep delivery options and can be filled only in «specially prepared areas attached to a service station.» Meaning, they essentially operate without certified approval from neither PESO nor the MOP&NG.
The delivery companies on their part, claim to adhere to a higher safety standard than the existing forms of fuel top-ups. They also claim (at least on paper) to put their personnel through extensive hazmat training and equip their vehicles with the necessary safety mechanisms.
The industry seems to be in a state of a dispute as the governing bodies and the delivery companies don’t see eye to eye on many issues. However, this does not seem to deter start-ups from wanting a piece of the pie and investing in this budding sector. Although the legality of such a business is still an issue that is being discussed, more and more investors are jumping on the opportunity as it presents a great way to earn enormous amounts of money.
Utilizing the benefits a fuel delivery app provides, entrepreneurs are trying to vie for a place that although might seem shaky at first, can provide them with enormous returns in the long run. No matter where one stands on the issue, the idea of a fuel delivery app is here and it’s here to stay.