Humsafar India - Offering Doorstep Diesel Refuelling Services to Industries!

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An average customer procuring fuel for their usage face multiple issues when it comes to storage, spillage, and transportation. Make-shift diesel carriers posed an enormous accident-liability and proved to be costly. With the advent of technology in the fuel industry, these issues are now being solved in cost-effective, environment effective, and most convenient ways possible. To this end, the startup ecosystem in the fuel industry has offered safer alternatives to procuring fuels.

To tackle these problems, Humsafar India offers doorstep diesel refueling services to industries that require diesel for static and heavy equipment and machinery. Read this article to know about Humsafar India, founders, products, business model, revenue model, startup challenges, funding, competitors, wiki, and future plans.

Humsafar - Company Highlights

  • Startup Name-Humsafar India
  • Headquarter-Delhi, India
  • Sector-Oil and Energy
  • Founders-Sanya Goel, Mayank Agarwal
  • Founded-November 2016
  • Funding-Bootstrapped
  • Revenue-Rs 22 million (2019-20)
  • Parent Organization-Samridhi Highway Solutions Pvt Ltd
  • Franchising-Yes

Humsafar - Latest News

November 26, 2020 - Humsafar announced that it has tied up with Okara Group to launch doorstep diesel delivery services across cities in Maharashtra including Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Thane, Nashik. As part of the deal, it will provide technical and digital support to the new venture under the strategic alliance.

In a statement,  Humsafar reported that it has received an order of 120 automated mobile fuel dispensing bowsers for Okara Fuelogics for diesel delivery. Okara Fuelogics will utilize the ‘Fuel Humsafar’ app for its orders.

Dilpreet Sadana, Co-founder and Technology Head at Humsafar said: "Our alliance with Okara Group is mainly to provide doorstep diesel delivery services in Maharashtra and to help entities like housing societies, industries as well as malls with a regular supply of diesel”.

Humsafar - About and How it Works

Humsafar, a consumer brand of Samridhi Highway Solutions Pvt Ltd, offers doorstep diesel refueling services to industries that require diesel for equipment. Humsafar’s solution promises convenience, easy-to-use technology, and cost-effective alternatives to traditional methods of diesel procurement. With the assurance of safety and zero wastage, it is leading last-mile delivery in diesel while enabling a safer environment for all.

The team's vision for Humsafar is to make ‘last-mile connectivity’ efficient, convenient, and safe. Once the government legalized Doorstep Diesel Delivery (DDD) in 2017, the startup jumped at the opportunity to make a difference.

"As a fourth-generation fuel entrepreneur, I was eager to make the change from operating retail outlets to bringing in innovation into the fuel industry. Today, we are proud of the impact Humsafar has had in the lives of our customers", says Sanya Goel, founder of Humsafar India.

Humsafar - Target Market Size

The government of India amended the Petroleum Regulations to enable Doorstep Diesel Delivery for static equipment, as well as heavy machinery. Petroleum and Safety Organisation (PESO) consequently drafted protocols to be followed at the point of loading and unloading, means of safe transportation, and protocols to oversee and facilitate the process with adequate training.

Going by the recent announcements, the fuel industry is set to further liberalize the market and pave avenues for new market segments for Diesel, Petrol, and CNG door delivery. The demand for fuel per year is at 85 billion liters, out of which approximately 43% of the demand is for diesel. This demand poses a huge opportunity for the doorstep diesel delivery market in the country.

Currently, besides Oil Company Dealers who have top-loading gantry facilities, a few startups are actively operating in this sector. The segment has already proven to be a disrupter. Notwithstanding resistance at certain levels, the segment is set to see a large number of dealers enter and expand their reach.

MOPNG and Oil companies are also enabling the scale-up by easing up the sector and bringing in additional regulations in view of the flammable nature of the product. Startups can increase the scope and area of operations that will enable them to break even faster and generate revenues.

How was Humsafar Started?

"I would always join my father at various retail outlets and observed that many rickshawala’s would come in with barrels, fill it up with diesel and then load it. My first thought was - why in this day and age, we still have to do such hard labour to load and unload diesel, a necessary commodity. Surely there has to be a better way. I couldn’t fathom the thought of effort and all sorts of safety violations that were involved in this process. This made me question the available alternatives at hand to find out that there were none. None that was legal anyway", recalls Sanya while talking about the idea of Humsafar.

When Sanya began with her groundwork, she discovered a large pool of customers who were facing pilferage, safety, quality, and quantity issues when it came to transporting diesel from point A to point B. The answer that then lay before her was simple – a solution that can promise delivery with the assurance of safety, zero wastage, and cost-effectiveness.

"If I had to pick a Eureka moment, it would be the moment my father decided to support the idea. He always gave me the freedom to explore, come up with solutions and is always ready to give me a shot", says Sanya Goel, owner of Humsafar.

While Sanya had her father's support, the government too opened the sector for deliveries and that paved the way to this becoming a reality. The initial days were challenging and at times frustrating with revenues taking time to come in, ensuring good quality with limited resources, etc. But as they proceeded, they learned to perfect processes, streamline operations and ensure efficiency with whatever resources available.

Humsafar - Founders and Team

Sanya Goel, and her brother Mayank Agarwal are the Founders of Humsafar India.

Humsafar Founders

Mayank Agarwal, Dilpreet Sadana, and Sanya Goel

They also have two mentors, her father, Nishit Goel, and her uncle, Dilpreet Sadana. Yes, it’s all in the family.

Sanya Goel, Founder, and Director at Humsafar India - She is 27 years old and hold a Masters Degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the University of Warwick. Sanya has a keen eye for detail, and in her team, she specializes in identifying and addressing the various needs of customers as well as overseeing easy-to-use UI development.

Mayank Agarwal, Co-founder of Humsafar India - Mayank comes from a Finance background and has been in the petrol pump business for about 7-8 years. He holds a Masters Degree in Finance and Business Administration from ICFAI and makes sure that the company stays financially strong.

Her father, Nishit Goel, is an entrepreneur too and is the “let’s-do-it man”. He is the company's mentor. He loves new ideas and is always up for a challenge. Dilpreet Sardana, a mentor, is a tech wiz. He founded Truck Khoj back in 2002 before GPS systems were mainstream to help businesses track their trucks.

Core team of Humsafar India

(L-R) Nishit Goel, Mayank Agarwal, Dilpreet Sadana, Sanya Goel, Dk Sharma

Besides the core team, Humsafar India also has a Corporate Marketing team, Field Marketing Executives who are foot soldiers, and Bowser crew who are like family. They also have a Tech Team, PR and Social Media team, and Fabrication Team working closely. The approximate team size of the startup is 50.

The company also has an advisory council consisting of experts from the Oil & Gas industry to guide the team in the right direction with their excellent knowledge and business acumen.

"Our work culture is very democratic. We all come from diverse backgrounds, our own set of expertise and knowledge and we respect that. With a flat structure, we all work together. There are no hierarchies here, except on paper. That’s the beauty of startups - it encourages discussions and everyone feels like they belong", says Mayank Agarwal, founder of Humsafar India, talking about work culture.

Humsafar - Products/Services

Fuel Humsafar is a tech-based doorstep diesel delivery solution that caters to customers that require diesel for equipment that is difficult to take to a petrol pump. To this end, the company offers convenient, safe, and cost-effective solutions to cater to the needs of this industry.

Humsafar India Delivery Trucks

Apart from directly catering to diesel delivery needs, it also provides a 360-degree solution for the market itself. The startup fabricates PESO approved Bowsers to enable other partners to deliver diesel in a safe, compliant manner. Apart from loading at petrol stations, they are also authorized to pick up diesel from oil terminals directly.

Humsafar initially started with Loyalty programs for retail outlets, moved to diesel delivery services, and eventually to Bowser Fabrication services. They're also going to be venturing into the smaller volume segment, Jerry Cans, for 20 liters deliveries of diesel.

What sets the company apart is its ability to offer end-to-end solutions:

There is already time tested Petrol pump partners, their own bowsers, and the Fuel Humsafar app, which demonstrates the solid experience in the product - the company operates in every touchpoint of the ecosystem.

75-year legacy - This assurance of trust in the quality and quantity of diesel being delivered truly sets them apart. They are an established name in the industry, and customers believe in them.

Ability to deliver diesel swiftly – The company delivers diesel within 8 hours. They’re able to achieve this with the number of partner petrol stations they have along with a large number of Bowsers available at any given time in the area of operation.

Going beyond diesel delivery, the team is actively trying to bring about a behavioral change in the procurement method. They want everyone to stop using illegal, unsafe methods and shift to legal, safe alternatives. They’re building a safe ecosystem around us by also helping other retail outlets safely transport diesel.

The company offers convenient solutions with easy-to-use technology. It makes the entire procurement process straightforward and simple so that anyone, anywhere can use it anytime.

Humsafar - Business Model

Humsafar India works on three business models -

Diesel Door Delivery Services: The startup operates via the app ‘Fuel Humsafar’, available on both, Play Store and Apple Store. It primarily delivers diesel for static or heavy machinery in the B2B segment. Its customers include Hospitals, Farmers, Hotels, Construction sites, Schools, Factories, etc.

Technology: It has various partner retail outlets who in turn, offer Diesel Door delivery service of their own. To them, the company franchise the tech platform.

Bowser Fabrication Services: Going beyond the tech platform, Humsafar India also offers Bowser Fabrication services to ensure a safer environment for the transportation of diesel. The DDD industry is all set to boom and as many as 4000-5000 retail outlets are set to offer delivery services. To this end, ensuring diesel is transported in PESO compliant bowsers is the top priority. They have successfully fabricated over 47 bowsers in the last five months of the service introduction.

Humsafar - Revenue Model

As described above, there are three distinct pillars for revenue inflow:

Diesel Door Delivery: Revenue in the DDD model comes in through the delivery charges associated with the service. They are now able to convert these casual customers into captive customers. Incidentally, this is also the most profitable market segment as it is very large, they do not require bulk volumes nor do they seek discounts/credits.

Technology: Petrol pump dealers join as Vendor partners in various locations all over the country, against a franchise fee. Besides, vendor partners pay a margin for new volumes brought in by the organization using their field Marketing team.

Humsafar brand of Bowsers Fabrication

Humsafar - Name, Tagline and Logo

"Back in 2016, we ran loyalty programmes for partner retail outlets to reward cash customers who bought diesel regularly from us. This loyalty programme was called Humsafar. The programme was a success, it helped create a network of customers and build trust among them", says Sanya Goel, Humsafar founder.

When they ventured into the Diesel Door Delivery space, they chose to continue with Humsafar as the customers were already familiar with the brand. The name Humsafar came about to convey that we are with you in your journey.

Breaking down the logo, Humsafar is represented by fuel and a road. The road signifies both, the journey that one undertakes and more directly, a representation of doorstep delivery. The fuel drop consists of two parts, the blue stands for loyalty and companionship, and the orange indicates energy. As a whole, it represents Fuel that is loyal, energizing and with you during your journey.

Humsafar - Franchising Opportunities

As per the, Humsafar India Franchising Details are as follows:

Humsafar Franchising Expansion Locations in India:

Humsafar Franchise

Humsafar Franchising Expansion Locations 

Distribution & Franchising Details:

Investment Range of Rs.30 Lakh - Rs.50 Lakh

Franchise/Brand fee Rs. 2,50,000

Royalty/Commission 33%

Anticipated ROI 50%

Payback period (channel partner) 1-2 years

Dealership term 5 years

The dealership term is renewable

Training details, field assistance, expert guidance etc., will be provided

You can get exclusive territorial right to a unit franchisee

Humsafar - User Acquisition and Growth

Humsafar reported revenue of Rs 22 million (2019-20). It has delivered nearly 5.5 million litres of fuel valued at Rs 325 million during the year.

It was a challenge to get customers to order diesel via an app. It required a behavior change and the team had to be patient while they built awareness around it. With steady communication about the benefits, the emphasis on legal means of diesel procurement and the dangers of illegal procurements had a positive effect on the target audience.

Once the customers experienced the app, there was no turning back. They loved how easy and convenient it was to use it and turned into active ambassadors. It’s an absolute delight when your customers accept and value your service.

The challenge post the initial 50 customers was to partner with retail outlets to expand the footprint. It required them to take the plunge and see the benefits themselves. They also used field marketing and social media marketing tools extensively to target specific geographic areas to build awareness and encourage trial.

The company is currently active in 12 states across the country including Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, and Rajasthan to name a few. They have fabricated over 47 bowsers in a short period of time and hope to expand their footprints to other areas soon.

Humsafar - Startup Challenges

The company's biggest challenges have been the following -

To educate customers about the availability of safe, legal alternatives to diesel delivery services.

To remain competitively priced (they sell at MRP only).

To address these challenges, the team began actively communicating to customers about the benefits and convenience of shifting to legal, safe diesel delivery solutions and price-wise, they acquired customers in large numbers so that they can work on the economies of scale.

Humsafar - Funding and Investors

It is a bootstrapped startup. They might look for investments at a later stage when they achieve the scale they’ve set out to get.

Humsafar - Competitors

The market is relatively new. There are about seven to eight startups in different parts of the country in the space. Some of their competitors in the market are Repos, a Pune-based startup, and MyPetrolPump, a Bangalore-based startup. They’re doing very well in their respective markets.

Humsafar - Awards

The startups has been covered by India Today in their Coffee Table book for “Entrepreneurs under 30” for an organisation using tech in last-mile solutions, enabling accessibility to basic facilities.

Humsafar - Future Plans

The team has exciting plans for the future. At a macro level, they want to sustain the economies around work. They want to be among the top 3 diesel door delivery companies and lead the market evolution. They also want to work on the ‘last-mile delivery’ as a core capability and look outside of diesel deliveries too.

The company's immediate plans include –

  • Onboarding more partner petrol stations to widen the area of operations
  • Expand services to other major cities
  • Work on franchise models of the business
  • Tap into new customer segments in a cost-effective manner
  • Continue to bring in cutting-edge technology into Bowser Fabrication and innovate across segments.