When an entire fleet of delivery trucks in a nationwide operation switches to compressed natural gas (CNG) as the fuel, it speaks of a quiet revolution. The revolution had started at a time when considering a CNG-only fleet had to be a well thought out decision for any company.

Only July 8, 2009 Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit had flagged off the first of the 85 CNG delivery trucks. The green fleet carried a message that mattered to every person from the country: ‘Open Happiness, Live Positively, Go Green’. 

The lead taken by The Coca-Cola Company is now resonating across the country. All commercial vehicles in Delhi have now moved to using CNG, the greener fuel.  The increase of CNG-fuelled commercial vehicles, leading to the Commonwealth Games in 2010, gave India’s green movement a shot in the arm too, setting an example for other cities.

July 8, 2009 turned out to quite a red letter day for Somnath Mahana, Jaikishan and Kaptan Singh too. Three of the 85 salesmen & drivers of Coca-Cola in Delhi, who got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet the Chief Minister (CM) of Delhi. It was a day that they are not likely to forget!

Somnath, (a father of two – a son aged 27 and a daughter aged 22) –a veteran in the soft drink industry, had spent more than 20 years of his life selling Coca-Cola products. No wonder he won the Maaza Maharaja competition in 2008. He had the delivered the maximum sales of Coca-Cola’s best-selling mango drink in three days of that competition. 

Jaikishan has two children, an eight year old son and a six year old daughter, both going to school. “….meeting with my children relieves me of all the stress and tiredness,” he had said that day.

For Kaptan Singh, the fact that his daughter’s first birthday fell just a few days after his meeting with the Chief Minister, made it more special. Kaptan Singh has now been a salesman for nine years. He thoroughly enjoys his job.

This may well be a small step for The Coca-Cola Company. But all of Delhi’s children, including theirs, can look forward to a better future with a green fuel powering the delivery trucks for their favourite drink.

Home to 16.75 million people, according to the 2011 census, 97 per cent of the people in India’s capital live in urban areas. Somnath Mahana, Jaikishan and Kaptan Singh have played their limited role in helping the city move to a greener future.

When the entire fleet of delivery trucks of a company in a city turns to CNG, you know that there’s a quiet revolution in the making. CNG vehicles are quite the norm now, even for private vehicles; for those making a statement. But we are talking 2009 here. July 8, 2009 to be precise. Way back then, converting vehicles to CNG was invariably a studied choice; an informed, healthy choice- a little ahead-of- its-time kind of thing. 

The Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit flagged off the first contingent of 85 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) based Coca-Cola product delivery trucks in Delhi at Pragati Maidan that day. This `green fleet’ carried the message, ‘Open Happiness, Live Positively, Go Green,’ encouraging Delhiites to also adopt environment- friendly measures in their daily lives. Speaking at the event, she complemented Coca-Cola for the launch of the CNG based delivery vehicles in Delhi and said that these initiatives would take forward the Delhi government’s efforts to encourage a transport system that is clean, effective and benefits the environment.  

Why launch in Delhi first, one might ask? There could not have been a better place to launch this initiative since Delhi mirrors the many cultures and social milieu of India and is home to more than 17 million people. Right answer! Also, it is the Capital. The ideal place to make a statement!

In subsequent years there has been a rise in the use of CNG in commercial vehicles, no doubt; taxis, auto-rickshaws, buses and light goods vehicles... with CNG having been accepted as a `clean fuel.’ The increase of CNG-fuelled cars, particularly during the Commonwealth Games in 2010, gave that movement a further push.

July 8, 2009 turned out to quite a red letter day for Somnath Mahana, Jaikishan and Kaptan Singh too; three of the 85 salesmen/ drivers of Coca-Cola in Delhi, who got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet the Chief Minister (CM) of Delhi. It was a day that they are not likely to forget!

Somnath, (a father of two – a son aged 27 and a daughter aged 22) –a veteran in the soft drink industry, had spent more than 20 years of his life selling Coca-Cola products. No wonder he won the Maaza Mahraja competition in 2008. He had the delivered the maximum sales of Coca-Cola’s best-selling mango drink in three days of that competition. For Jaikishan on the other hand, this was his very first job - driving around his Coca-Cola vehicle on the same route for the last three years.

Today, more than seven years after that crucial conversion (to CNG), Somnath, Kaptan Singh and Jaikishan are still behind their wheels, happy and proud to have been a part of that quiet change towards a healthier environment.