Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL) is one of India’s leading natural gas distribution companies. Established in 1995, MGL is a joint venture between GAIL (India) Limited and the BG Group (UK). The company has connected approximately 820,000 households and over 2,600 small commercial and 55 industrial establishments. It supplies compressed natural gas (CNG) to over 420,000 vehicles in Mumbai, Thane, Mira-Bhayander, Navi Mumbai and beyond. It also supplies gas to a fleet of buses and trucks. The company has a wide distribution network comprising over 400 km of steel pipelines and 4,000 km of medium density polyethylene pipelines, connecting over 180 CNG filling stations with more than 1,000 dispensing points.
With such a wide operations network, technology deployment is extremely important to achieve better customer reach and enhance the customer experience. In 2015, the company took a significant step in this direction. It launched a mobile application, MGL Connect, which can be downloaded for free from the Android play store.
The app gives details of both CNG as well as piped natural gas (PNG) parameters. Customer convenience has received utmost importance. For instance, PNG connection holders can use the app to obtain their bills, seek answers to their queries, track consumption, etc. In addition, a customer can take a picture of the meter reading and send it to the company (through the app), based on which the bill can be generated. MGL Connect also has payment locators.
Complaints, too, can be lodged with ease through the app. An interesting provision is that the consumer is not required to call the MGL service centre. It can directly access the complaints section and feed in the problem areas through the app.
MGL Connect can help locate CNG stations in the vicinity. For instance, customers can find the nearest CNG station while on the go using the app. The company is also working on a feature to make available the estimated queuing time at each of the CNG stations tracked. These solutions will be especially beneficial for metro cities such as Mumbai. The app also gives details of the availability of cylinder testing and kit supplies at the nearest MGL vendor.
The application can direct consumers to the nearest CNG station or drop box for paying their bill. The CNG savings calculator is another key feature, which aids decision-making for switching over to CNG. In addition, all kinds of information – from CNG kit suppliers to tips on car care and safety – are available at one touch. Viewing domestic bills and payment history, and making payments through a secured gateway have become easier with the app. Safety and security are a priority for the company, which is reflected in the app. The “Know your Meter Reader” feature, for instance, helps in verifying the identity of a consumer’s meter reader.
Features for PNG users
- PNG customers can view their current and last three PNG bills, get details of the payments made, find locations where payments can be made and make payments online.
- They can provide meter readings during the billing cycle by uploading a photo of their meter reading, which will enable the company to process bills based on the “actual” meter reading during the assessed reading cycle.
- In addition, customers can log complaints on any service-related issue by selecting the category or nature of complaint from the drop-down menu. This system has been equipped to capture the customer’s message.
- At the same time, the system has been designed to send automated push notifications to the customer.
- Keeping in mind the safety of customers and to curb fraudulent activities, the app allows customers to verify the meter reader by entering the employee ID displayed on the identity card. On doing so, the photograph of the meter reader gets displayed on the screen.
Features for CNG users
- Locating the nearest CNG station becomes easier with this app. Customers can access all information pertaining to CNG prices and the amount saved by using CNG over other alternative fuels.
- Information about CNG kit suppliers and hydro-testing centres, tips on CNG vehicle maintenance, CNG car models, etc. is available.
- This mobile app can also help customers view and download relevant documents, policies and procedures.