Change in the perception of trucking as a profession is the main aim of T1 Prima Truck racing- Gaurav Dhall, MD, T.I.C.
Trucks are not ordinary motorized vehicles. Often known as the ‘beast of the highway’, trucks are most commonly used for the transmission of goods and machines to and from different locations in India and for most people in the country; the uses and functions of trucks are limited to the capacity mentioned above. But to change the above perception and to inspire the succeeding generations to take up Truck driving as an inspirational profession, Tata Motors are back again with the second edition of T1 Prima Truck racing championship.
T1 Prima Truck racing championship, which is scheduled to be held on March 15th 2015 at Budddh International Circuit in Greater Noida will be executed by the event management and marketing company T.I.C. and aspires to address the scarcity of young skilled truck drivers in India by motivating truck driving as a profession.
The championship will see twelve racing behemoths weighing about six tonne each roaring with their mammoth engines in a competition to promote the profession of truck racing above all. EE caught up with Gaurav Dhall, Managing Director, T.I.C. on the highlights of the championship, engaging elements at the event and so much more.
Q- Truck Racing is a popular sport in international countries but it is rather unusual in a country like India which has its own perceptions about the vehicle. How did the idea of organizing a truck racing championship come to you?
A- Trucking as a profession was declining and Tata Motors really wanted to glamorize trucking as an industry. They wanted to create aspiration towards trucking as a profession amongst the second generation owners & drivers and narrow down the deficit of professional drivers looking for better livelihood options for them. People today look down upon trucking as a profession and even though the money is good the newer generation does not want to opt for this source of employment and this event is a sincere attempt on our part to portray that trucking is as dignified a profession as any other in the country.
Q- What is the response that you have received so far for the second edition of T1 Prima Truck racing championship?
A- We are expecting a crowd of approximately 30,000 people and that is the kind of preparation we have and as a backup since we have exceeded last year in terms of marketing for the event, we decided upon having a couple of backup stands as well. The view of these will obviously not be at par with the front ones but we have to be prepared in case of a more than expected number of turnout.
Q- What are the different kinds of activities that you have planned to keep the audience engaged during the event?
A- The biggest attraction in going to be the race itself I believe but apart from that Tata Motors T1 Truck racing will have gala opening and closing ceremony with Manish Paul as a host. We will also have Bollywood celebrities like Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy, Badshah and Benny Dayal performing for us. Other important highlight are the Harley Davidson bike race, merchandise shops, test drives on trucks for public & media, food court with kid’s fun zone where there will be games and special cartoon characters for kids to play with.
Q- Since the event is expected to be attended by a large audience what are the various kinds of security arrangements planned for the event?
A- For us security is an important aspect that we have worked upon and thus we have planned for a four level security for the event. The first level will be provided outside by the Greater Noida Police, after that comes the internal security of Buddh International Circuit itself. Then for all the key areas we have around 400-500 bouncers hired from security service providers and for the fourth level we are training our ushers for situations like emergency evacuation and safety fire drills. Besides that all the required fire safety norms are being followed and most importantly we have taken two kids of insurance. The first one being the liability insurance for the event and the second is a special insurance required for sporting events that insures that audience as well as the participants of the race. We also have emergency help in case of medical conditions and have also tied up with nearby hospitals for the same.
Q- What are the different kind of marketing activities you as an event organizing company followed to create the required buzz for the event?
A- A very effective marketing plan was run pan India since January. Various activities were carried out which included Road shows to approx 500 locations, Mall activations to approx 25 cities across, TASS (TATA Authorized Service centre) activities to approx 115 cities, Trophy Relay events approx 20 and many more activities across India. To create the buzz, another interesting feature has been added to this year which is the Motion Sensor Game. This game is specially developed to promote the event and huge LED TV trucks are used for the same. For the first time, there will also be a touch& feel section for select visitors, who will get a chance to see and feel these Racing Giants closely. Furthermore the race will be covered by various sports channels as well.
Q- Organizing a truck racing championship like T1 definitely involves a tremendous amount of expenditure so what is the profitability of such events as far as the return on investment is concerned?
A- I believe they are extremely high on return on investment. The revenue that we expect from such events cannot be acquired through ticket sales as our main objective is to change the perception of trucking as a profession. I personally feel it has had a tremendous spin off after the first edition as people are more aware about trucking now and the partners who are associated with the events are happy. Our objective was never to earn 1 rupee or a 100 crore rupees, we have managed to bring in a change and that speaks volumes. And it’s a long term goal actually, if the profession of trucking flourishes through this event then our sponsors Tata and their associates also will benefit from it automatically.
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