Nawgati, founded by Vaibhav Kaushik, Aryan Sisodia and Aalaap Nair, wants to change the fuel station experience in India. Its B2B platform 'Aaveg' offers congestion monitoring through technology for fuel stations while the app offers easy navigation for customers.
When he got his licence at 18, Vaibhav Kaushik tried driving a car like every other person. However, he would often end up getting into accidents, and for the betterment of other Indian citizens, he decided to stop driving. This made him a regular user of cab services like Ola and Uber.
His decision to stay off the roads led to the birth of a startup idea which aimed to decongest fuel stations in India.
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In 2019, Vaibhav, an engineer from BITS Pilani, was doing an internship in Greater Noida. During the half-hour commute between his home and office, he used to strike up conversations with cab drivers. They mainly drove CNG vehicles and this is where he learnt about their biggest problem.
“All the drivers complained of one single problem – the line at the fuel station was very long. Out of the 10 hours they spent on the road, an hour was wasted at these fuel stations daily. The cab drivers told me that they lost 10 percent of their daily earnings idling away in the queue,” Vaibhav tells The Better India.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the cab driver could know which fuel station had a lesser waiting time? And that’s how ‘Nawgati’ came to life.
All of 20 then, and in his third-year of engineering, Vaibhav thought that this problem must have been solved by someone. To his surprise, when he learnt that there was no solution, he started working on one with his friends, Aalaap Nair and Aryan Sisodia.
They researched various pain points from the perspective of customers and fuel stations. They then spoke to fuel providers and examined their in-house challenges and difficulties. After this, they built the technology, a queue management platform, which would help both fuel stations and customers.
Helping fuel companies improve efficiency
They came up with two solutions, an app for consumers, and its flagship product, Aaveg, a B2B platform, for fuel companies.
It helps improve compliance, achieve operational efficiency, monitor real-time congestion, and direct customers to less crowded stations nearby.
“Aaveg is a single point of reference for fuel station owners to have complete oversight of transit, waiting and serving time, attendants deployed, and under or over-utilisation of resources. We help fuel companies and/or dealers with congestion management, compliance monitoring, and automating forecourt operations, which allows them to scale up or scale down operations at any outlet and make decisions backed by data,” explains Aryan, co-founder and CTO at Nawgati.
‘Aaveg’ which is Sanskrit for impulse, is built on a plug-and-play framework and aims to provide fuel companies ‘data within an impulse’.
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“It is a vertical SaaS (software as a service) platform that captures real-time data, based on the edge devices we deploy. The edge devices, in simple terms, are a set of hardwares that controls data flow between two networks at fuel stations. Through these devices, we get access to CCTVs and dispensers at the stations, which gives us insights into the congestion, waiting time, utilisation of each dispenser, and more,” adds Aryan.
This data and metrics help companies increase sales, reduce recurring costs, according to the founders. They get access to the vehicles fuelling at their station, how much time each vehicle is waiting, how much time is spent on fuelling every vehicle, which dispensers are being used more, what are the inefficiencies, amongst other things.
Nawgati works on a subscription-based model and charges fuel stations on a monthly basis, starting from Rs 5000.
This technology, that is saving money for fuel companies, was built at BITS Pilani in 2019, through the college’s incubation program, Pilani Innovation & Entrepreneurship Development Society (PIEDS).
“After building the technology, we embarked on trial runs that led us to a pilot project with Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) in 2021. We received a lot of valuable insights regarding the challenges encountered by the teams at CNG stations. We then made some changes to enhance Aaveg,” adds Aryan.
After the pilot, IGL signed an annual contract with Nawgati. Today, Aaveg is live at IGL, Indian Oil outlets in Delhi-NCR, Mahanagar Gas (MGL) outlets in Mumbai, GAIL Gas, Torrent Gas, JioBP, HP Gas among several other fuel companies across India.
They plan to onboard 15,000 fueling outlets within two years. The startup has filed a patent for this technology, which helps fuel pumps manage congestion.
How Nawgati helps consumers, especially cab drivers
This solution was built with cab drivers in mind, to help them save time. For this, the company has developed an application.
“Nawgati fueling app is the largest fuel discovery application in the country. You can use the application to navigate to a CNG/petrol/diesel station on your route, or find one closest to you. We have more than a million downloads on the app so far,” adds Vaibhav, co-founder & CEO of Nawgati.
The 4-year-old app is currently free, but the founders have plans to roll out a freemium model soon, where they would offer basic features for free, but charge for the premium features.
The founders had appeared on Shark Tank Season 2 and signed a deal of Rs 67 lakhs for 3 percent equity. This gave a boost to Nawgati and led to more dealers reaching out to them. The startup is also backed by the department of science and technology, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
“We are at the forefront of revolutionising the fuel station experience, benefiting both fuel providers and consumers alike. Any new CNG station is now listed on our app too. This helps fuel stations get more sales. We have 75000 fuel stations listed on the app today. We are fuel agnostic, and also list EV charging stations,” adds Vaibhav.
Run by two 25-year-olds and one 24-year-old, this startup wants to become synonymous with fuel.
“We want Nawgati to be the doctor for any fuel related problem,” says Vaibhav. Now, when Vaibav hops onto a cab, he leads the driver to the nearest fuel station with the least waiting time.
Edited by Padmashree Pande; All pictures courtesy: Vaibhav Kaushik.
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