NEW DELHI :
Even as petrol pumps across India report dismal numbers during the coronavirus lockdown, a Ratan Tata-backed startup with mobile petrol pumps is actually reporting a jump in sales due to its unique home delivery model. Started three years ago, Pune-based Repos Energy has now expanded to 90 cities across India with more than 300 mobile petrol pumps.
"The customer base has increased by 15% since the lockdown began. Earlier, the sectors ordering fuel were industries, malls, hotels and now it has shifted to hospitals, residential societies and utility stores and government institutions," Aditi Bhosale Walunj, co-founder at Repos Energy, told Livemint.
Their business model is unique because customers can order diesel with Repos mobile app and the start-up, which has tied up with several petrol pumps, delivers it at your location using a fuel delivery vehicle fitted with a mobile dispenser and 6,000-litre fuel tank.
“The daily requirement of the hospitals range anywhere between 500 litres and 2,000 litres depending on the consumption and requirement. We are reaching out to over a dozen major hospitals in Pune including the National Information Centre, Sahyadri, Jehangir, Aditya Birla hospital, among them," Bhosale said adding that hospitals always need a power back-up for crucial functions like ventilators and smooth operations of the intensive care units (ICU).
“There are two Repos Petrol Pumps (RPPs) which are making trips to over 22 major and small hospitals serving as a lifeline in times of lockdown," she says.
There are four staffers working in rotation providing diesel services. “We are ensuring that all the WHO norms are complied and the staff is wearing protective gear, using sanitisers with contactless working in the risky environment," Chetan Walunj, co-founder of Repos, said.
The start-up is fuelling National Information Centre (NIC), all major hospitals and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) among other institutions in Pune. It is also providing services in other cities like Kolkata, Siliguri, Jamshedpur, Kota, Nagpur, etc.
India's fuel consumption has been on a declining mode ever since travel restrictions were imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus last month. In March, diesel consumption fell by 24.2% while petrol sales went down by 16.4% from a year earlier, the worst slide since March 1999, petroleum ministry data showed.
For the first half of this month, petrol sales have slumped by 64% and diesel by 61%. This is the biggest ever drop in fuel sales in India. Petrol, diesel demand is likely to pick up gradually from today as the government has allowed select important economic activities to resume before the lockdown ends on May 3.