This post is a part of BioBiz’s Bio-CNG Perspectives.
BioBiz, a division of EAI, is a leading market intelligence & strategic consulting firm for the Indian bio-based sectors.
This blog post uses the terms bio-CNG and renewable natural gas (RNG) interchangeably.
Bio-CNG or bio-compressed natural gas, also known as sustainable natural gas or biomethane, is a biogas which has been upgraded to a quality similar to fossil natural gas and having a methane concentration of 90% or greater. As the gas is derived from natural and renewable sources, it is also termed renewable natural gas (RNG).
Marketing and distribution channels play a major role in the growth of an industry. An effective distribution channel is crucial for proper supply of goods and for minimizing the gap between the producer & consumer. It tends to create time, place and possession utility of a product. As the industries and markets are growing rapidly, distribution is becoming more complex, so there is a high demand for the effective distribution channel. RNG being nascent in India thus requires innovative marketing and sales channels to be followed by potential investors to have an early mover advantage.
This blog post highlights some emerging marketing and sales channels in the RNG sector which could be an avenue for the success of an entrepreneur investing in this growing sector.
Marketing and sales strategies for RNG market
1. Awareness + sales
Use of RNG requires significant awareness to be created among the target segments about the benefits of the fuel. Hence a company’s sales and marketing strategies should lay an equal emphasis on creating effective awareness among the user segments.
2. Direct sales
Direct sales can be fairly time and resource consuming, but it also provides opportunities to interact directly with the end user, which in turn can lead to better customer relationship as well as better understanding of their needs. The investor should hence actively explore through a careful selection of end user segments to which direct sales would be attempted, as well as efficiently using online tools and technologies to effect such direct sales.
3. Through NGOs
NGOs are a powerful vehicle in creating awareness about and bringing about adoption of sustainable energy solutions for various stakeholders. It is hence recommended that an investor form synergistic and symbiotic associations with NGOs to accelerate market penetration in a sustainable manner.
4. Kiosks/retail outlets at select regions like industrial estates
In the near future, there is likely to be a significant demand for RNG from the industrial segment, especially small and medium manufacturing and processing industries. A good number of these industries are located in industrial estate clusters. One strategy for an investor would be to enhance his presence at select industrial estates so that it is much easier to cater to these business owners.
5. Selling to the source of waste for circular economy
One avenue that is attractive to many entities especially in segments like premium hotels is to actually have their food waste coming back to them as biogas or RNG. This provides them an effective avenue to sustainably manage their waste while at the same time earlier significant green credentials. Efforts to create and package effective circular economics for select clients will be novel and effective for market expansion
6. Tie-ups with special locations such as wedding halls where being green could make a difference
With the concept of sustainability catching up fast with many segments of the consumers, especially among the more educated and upwardly mobile sectors, many locations where large events such as weddings are held are keen to go green. Tying up with such entities provides a potential investor with a constant source of food and related waste as well as a loyal customer who can in turn use the RNG for heating purposes. This is a small variation of the circular economy idea provided above.
It is hence essential for a prospective investor to explore several such niche areas for partnerships which could be an avenue to expand his presence in the market in the long run.
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