Qatari startup ‘i-fuel’, which was founded by Doha-based entrepreneurs Nasser Al Kaabi and Jamal Khatib, plans to solve a common problem faced by motorists around the world – long queues in petrol stations and not enough gas to reach the station. The duo, who won the ‘Challenges’ category at the Al-Fikra 2019 competition, are planning to start delivering petrol to customers across Qatar in the next eight to 10 months.
Speaking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of the event on Tuesday, Khatib, said: “The main problem is there’s so much traffic in petrol stations. At this time and age where everything is changing, look at Uber and Amazon, technology is taking over. Why can’t you order gas to your home. The only thing that you think about is safety reasons. You don’t want to have fuel on a truck. However, with our solution, we solved that challenge. ‘i-fuel’ will deliver petrol at your location and at scheduled time. So whenever you need petrol you just order it and we’re gonna be right there delivering petrol to you and serving you. With that, it will decrease the traffic in petrol stations and contribute to the Qatar National Vision 2030. No need to go to the gas stations anymore. We fill and you just chill”.
According to Khatib, the team has already met with an official from WOQOD who was very supportive of the project. The startup company is currently finalising the testing of the application and its trucks.
Khatib added: “We have specific-built trucks that meet the requirements of the Ministry of Energy and Industry, Ministry of Transport and Communications, and WOQOD. And with the help of WOQOD we’re going to operate successfully. Currently, we’re working on our customised delivery vehicles. We’re going to start with four trucks, and we’re going to expand the operations eventually”.
‘i-fuel’s’ solution will feature its own metre system which will be connected to a mobile phone. This will show the price and litres ordered. Khatib said: “You can connect your car to your phone, see how much you want to fill. In case you don’t want to connect to your mobile phone, we basically deliver to your house and you pay by cash and you get the receipt. They have to pay QR18. We did a research and conducted a survey and found that QR18 is the perfect price for the Qatari market. Petrol will be delivered on time, and once you order from us, you will be provided with the estimated time of petrol delivery arrival”.
Ultimately, the startup plans to cover more motorists in Qatar. Khatib added: “We’re going to expand region by region, and start in really traffic areas. We can start in The Pearl for example and then we’ll expand to West Bay, to Qatar University area; and region by region until we build a full model”.
I-fuel won the ‘Al-Fikra Challenges Award’, which was a competition organised by the Qatar Development Bank for entrepreneurs to find solutions for some of the challenges that can be turned into business ideas and projects that can serve Qatar.