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Nawgati: Exclusive: Nawgati to tackle fuel station congestion with 2000+ new pumps in six months

It seems like humans get great ideas when they are just sitting around. Be it sitting underneath a tree on a pleasant day, being stuck in a train or travelling in a cab. Vaibhav Kaushik, co-founder of Nawgati experienced the latter. The idea of the business originated while he was travelling in a cab and saw the pain of cab drivers waiting at CNG stations for refuelling. It is a common sight to see long lines of vehicles at CNG stations as the process is time-consuming and major stations on busy routes experience heavy footfall.

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What is Nawgati?

Nawgati provides customers with a quick of knowing which fuel stations might already have a lot of customers and directs them to alternatives that would get the job done quickly. During our interaction with Kaushik, he made it clear that they are a fuel aggregator and not people who deliver fuel from door to door as it is not a viable business model according to them. They can even help drivers find premium/high-octane fuels for expensive cars. In fact, one of the top results when looking for a CNG pump locator on Google Play Store, is the Nawgati app. Through another one of their products, Aaveg, they also aim to provide a complete solution to the fueling stations by monitoring the number of fuel pumps at a given station, the number of cars present, the number of attendants, if there is fuel at the station and what is the current cost as well.
The company was founded by Vaibhak Kaushik, Aalaap Nair and Aryan Sisodia in 2019 and the first prototype of the project was built back in 2020. Since then they have run multiple pilots and brought out a number of iterations. The idea was initially backed by the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani a.k.a BITS Pilani. This gave the company the initial boost it required and then the next big break came with their participation in Shark Tank. Appearing in the second season of the TV show gave them more access.

Nawgati team

Future plans

While Nawgati was conceptualised after seeing the plight of CNG vehicle owners, the platform is actually fuel agnostic. Whether you want to look for petrol, diesel or CNG Nawgati aims to be the one-stop solution for you. They have already partnered with players like Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL), Mahanagar Gas, Indian Oil, Gujarat Gas, Adani Total Gas and more. Nawgati already has coverage over 150 outlets in Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Kaushik claims that they are on track to onboard 1000+ outlets in the next two quarters. In fact, he exclusively told us that more than 2000 fuel stations will be part of their program across tier 1 and tier 2 cities in the next six months.
Furthermore, the company is also looking at integrating payments into their application. Not only will the drivers be able to pay for the fuel, they will also be able to earn rewards. With electric vehicles (EVs) becoming popular by the day, it is only natural for Nawgati to also expand their business in the charging domain.

Services for fuel station owners

During our interaction, Kaushik claimed that their procedure is so robust and quick that it can help station partners set up the necessary infrastructure within 24 hours in any city. This is made possible due to their well-established connections across the country. Once the infrastructure is set in place, the owner of the station can digitally access data like fuel level in the station, congestion, staff attendance, compliance and more.
Nawgati also helps check the compliance levels at a fuel station. Compliance is very important for safety, especially in the case of CNG pumps. If a driver accidentally drives off with the fueling hose still attached to the car, there could be a massive explosion causing loss of life and revenue. According to Kaushik, the damage could be so severe that the entire station could be closed for months before it can be built to open again. Similarly, the CNG cylinder in vehicles has to be checked every three years and undergo hydro testing. This is done to check the integrity of the tank as filling a faulty cylinder could result in it bursting. Nawgati can aggregate all this data and inform the station as well. In case a driver has not had his car’s CNG tank checked in the last three years, the station can be informed so that they can avoid fueling it for safety concerns.
Considering the fact that so much of the operation relies on quick transmission of data from the fuel station to the customer, one must think that it would be hard to implement the setup in rural areas or places where connectivity is not as good as metro cities. However, that is not the case, Kaushik told us that the company deploys a device that aggregates the entire data at the station and sends out a compressed data packet that is no more than a few kilobytes per day.

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