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Company : Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited 
Friday, July 18, 2003 2:47PM IST (9:17AM GMT)
Hindustan Petroleum Introduces 5 kilogram LPG Janta Cylinder in Chattisgarh
Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India

Shri Ram Naik, Honorable Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, today launched the 5 kilogram LPG Janta cylinder targeting the rural masses at a function held at the HP Gas bottling plant at Raipur, Chattisgarh. HPCL is the second largest LPG Marketing Company with a consumer base of approx. 1.8 crore consumers serviced through a network of nearly 1900 distributors across length and breadth of India.

The function was presided by Shri Ramesh Bais, Honorable Minister of State for Mines (Independent Charge), Govt. of India and the Guest of Honour was Shri Satyanarayan Sharma, Honorable Minister of Education Science & Technology, Govt. of Chattisgarh.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Ram Naik said, “HPCL is the first Company to launch 5 kg cylinders in Chattisgargh which will now take LPG to the door steps of the rural consumers. HP Gas Plant is the only Plant in the State of Chattisgarh and has a capacity to bottle 42 lakh cylinders per annum. LPG is currently being used by more than 6.25 lakh LPG consumers who are being catered through a distribution network of 94 distributors spread across the state.”

Shri Ram Naik further added, “LPG is one of the cleanest fuel apart from being eco-friendly, helps in reducing deforestation and improves health standards all around. With the objective to provide clean fuel to the largest possible number of consumers not only in the urban areas but also residing in small towns and villages, efforts of Government of India have yielded satisfactory results and now, the consumer no longer has to wait for inordinate period to avail the new LPG connection. The All India waitlist which was about 1.10 crore at the end of October 1999 was liquidated and during the last 4 years 3.5 crore connections have been released vis-à-vis enrolment of 3.6 crore consumers during the previous 40 years of LPG Marketing.”

Shri Ram Naik informed the gathering that there are obstacles in reaching clean fuel of LPG to the majority of the population, which is still in rural and semi-urban areas, and the main problem is difficulty in transporting 14.2 kg cylinders and its cost which is not affordable by poor families surviving on daily wages. Keeping in mind these issues, the concept of 5 kg cylinders was developed by Ministry to reach LPG to hilly and rural areas as well as slums in urban areas where the poor reside.

The smaller 5 kg cylinder, which weighs around 10 kilogram, makes handling and cartage of cylinders much easier. Not only this, the small cylinder will be more affordable, meaning less one time investment, hence convenient to targeted consumers. The security deposit in respect of 5-kilogram cylinders would be Rs.350/- and the cost of refill would be around Rs.90/. In case the customer takes delivery of the cylinder from distributor on cash and carry basis, he will get a further discount of Rs.4.50 per cylinder.

Shri N. K. Puri, Director, Marketing – HPCL, said, “The rural population constitutes 70% of the total population in India, which translates into approximately 15 crore households. LPG penetration in rural areas is estimated at 15% compared to 74% in the urban areas. The urban areas are now matured markets, and hence the focus to shift to rural markets for accelerated growth. We are closely following the trend in the rural markets, and are keen to have the first mover advantage and gain market share.”

As part of HPCL’s strategic marketing initiatives, it has stepped out of the traditional LPG business and established ‘HP Gas’ as a distinct and unique LPG brand across the country. It has endeavored to increase consumer focus, penetrate untapped rural markets – all efforts being consolidated towards building a strong brand image. Customer expectations are not merely limited to receiving timely refills, but now look forward to value added services. Anticipating these changes, HPCL has initiated various steps to standardise and benchmark all marketing activities across the country.

HPCL is one of the first oil companies to computerise the entire distributor network to provide value added services to consumers such as refill booking through IVRS and Internet. HP gas has also been one of the first to introduce the single telephone help line ‘1716’ for refill booking, customer complaints, and emergency services in the metros. The distinct set of value added offerings range from services tailor made for consumer convenience – delivery of refills within twenty-four hours, extended delivery timings – 8 am to 8 pm all seven days a week and expert services – installation of new connection within 24 hours. The communication was launched with a specially designed pneumonic of an animated cylinder proclaiming ‘ Ji haan’ reinforcing a strong positive service orientation.

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