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Present scenario

To date, the City Gas Distribution (CGD) companies use the services of many vendors and contractors to provide PNG customer connections, including metering, installation, payments and servicing connections over their lifetime.


Domestic customers for any CGD is its largest constituent in terms of numbers, and thus, an enduring solution for its customer base is necessary for customer centric services.


Following 9th-11th rounds of CGD authorization, with about 100 million projected domestic PNG connections spread across metropolitan, urban, semi urban & rural areas, managing all this would become a big challenge for all CGDs. Moreover, the domestic segment generates the least revenue and cash flow for any CGD, thus necessitating a low cost-to-serve model.

A unique approach

Generally, the CGD market operates in a traditional way of procurement of meters, material from manufacturers, execution by field contractors and purchase of software solutions from third parties to deliver customer centric services and manage the revenue services through different service providers. Secure Meters came with a unique approach by amalgamating all these works in one basket in its offering. This supply, service and solutions proposition was offered to a CGD.


The New, Better Approach to Manage Domestic Connections in City Gas Distribution – A Case Study Secure Meters Limited Patranjan Bhattacharya The CGD had entered gas distribution space with an open mind and was ready to experiment. They decided to opt for an approach which can enable them to collect money for gas in advance, will have less dependency on multiple contractors for supply and services, and will reduce paperwork for different services.

What did we do?

The scope of work handled by Secure Meters included

• New connection management

• Demand assessment, customer acquisition/ enrollment

• Supply of prepaid G1.6 gas meter with Bluetooth technology for domestic PNG connection

• Supply of all associated material for domestic PNG connection • Installation, testing and commissioning of domestic PNG

• Material inventory management system

• Reading meters periodically

• Field force management

• Establishment of customer relationship management (CRM) system

• Customer management services

• Establishment of customer pre-payment vending system • Customer revenue management

• IT Infra establishment and maintenance

• Establishing and operating 24X7 customer care centre

• Customer mobile app for consumption monitoring and top-up

• B2B integration with CGD system

Uniqueness of the solution


At the heart of the system lies prepayment metering – offering advance payment to the CGD with zero debt and no recovery hassles. The CGD is assured of their customer payments. Past experience of huge bad debts in urban & semi urban areas in other utility space like electricity discoms has made them move away from postpaid to prepaid solution. Prepaid gas metering for CGDs from day one helps them avoid the debt trap and does away with many payment related business processes.


The customer is also greatly facilitated as they can directly get all information in monetary terms through their mobile app. The meter also stores monthly snapshot of historical monthly readings which helps in gas reconciliation.

Choice of payment mechanism for customers

Secure has also tied up with payment gateways for online payment facilitation, facilitating online payments through mobile app and over the internet.


We also have tied up with Common Services Center (CSC) of the Government of India for facilitating offline payment by customers through its pan-India network of more than 350,000 centres. This allows a huge access to customers for making offline payments.

Custom built ERP system

A home-grown fully customised prepayment and CRM system exclusively developed for gas services further ensures that each small process and sub process is accounted for.


The services are system driven and log all customer interactions which help in hassle free services. A system driven workflow-based activity list for all logs, requests and processes ensure minimum manual intervention and a paperless concept.

Operational practices

Use of Technology

Most of the paperwork related operations are digitised. Tab based registration, digital storage of technical feasibility of connection, customised kit preparation for customer installation and workflow based notification through mobile app to the installer for installation help in quick information flow, removes duplication of work, prevents errors and helps all relevant stakeholders stay on the same page at all times

On ground practices

Customised PNG Van and Custom built trolleys for material handling

A custom-built van with rackbased storage has been designed. It helps in storing standard kits prepared for individual customers. Custom kits are prepared in advance, based on customer feasibility; this avoids the need for preparing a kit at site, thus speeding up the installation process.

Pre-fabricated concept

Pipes used for installation are pre-fabricated using an auto thread cutting machine and put in kits to ease the installation at site.

CGD portal

A unique portal has been created for the CGD, which keeps them updated on all the works related to customer onboarding, feasibility, connections, complaint handling, payment collection and other operations.

In a nutshell, the whole system is designed and works in a way that the CGD does not have to engage with a long list of contractors, meter providers, equipment providers, software solution providers, service agencies etc. to provide all customer centric services; their only point of contact & responsibility is one company – Secure Meters. Moreover, amalgamation of all the services into one basket ensures costs are controlled and customer ‘cost to serve’ is minimized & improves operational efficiency of domestic PNG ecosystem. Similar operations were commenced two years back in a CGD, and now running in 10 towns of four states.