Interview with AN Jha, executive director (LPG), Indian Oil Corporation

AN Jha_Indian OilTeleAnalysis spoke to AN Jha, executive director (LPG), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) to understand Smart Gas Solution deployed by Idea Cellular to service LPG consumers by enabling end-to-end automation on refill delivery process. He spoke about the new solution and its advantages to LPG consumers. 

“Currently we expect that the facility will get extended to all distributors before 31st August 2014”

IOCL has developed Smart Gas Solution for IOCL’s LPG gas consumers. Please explain about the new solution?
We have entered into a contract with Idea Cellular for extending SMS/IVRS based refill booking system across the country to all public LPG distributors catering to all our consumers. Currently we expect that the facility will get extended to all distributors before 31st August 2014. After extension, the facility will be offered to approximately 64 million consumers being catered by 5,250 public distributors across the country, wherever mobile connectivity is available.

What is the advantage that IOCL consumer will get with the implementation of Idea’s Smart Gas Solution?      
The perceived advantages of the system by IOCL consumer are as under:
Refill booking can be done round-the-clock, seven days a week (24×7) since it involves a non manual machine answered system. It circumvents the problems faced by customers sometimes of finding the distributor’s telephone lines busy (especially during rush hours, with many customers trying to contact the distributor at the same time).

The system provides a computer generated serial number of booking, which can be used to track the status of bookings also. Customers can make the booking through either mobile or landlines. If the booking is received through a mobile, SMSs are sent back to the customers on confirmation of booking, cash memo preparation and delivery. In case the customer registers his/her personal telephone number, the booking procedure gets further simplified.

For customers who are personally approaching the distributorship, a separate fixed wireless phone (FWP) is provided in the premises for doing the booking free of charge. The distributor’s staffs also helps in making such bookings. Besides, the system provides an indication to the customer on the likely date of delivery of the refill. By doing a computerised booking, manual intervention and chances of errors are nullified. The system registers the bookings on first-come first-served basis.

Customers expected to register their telephone numbers and from unregistered numbers the bookings are restricted in order to discourage booking from un-authorised sources. The booking is transferred as bulk SMSs and hence the system is not down even when the Internet connectivity is not available.

What is the value of the deal for a 2 year period?
As there is a contract agreement between Idea Cellular and IOCL, other details sought by you are of commercial confidence and we are not in a position to provide you at present.

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