Indian GP in Greater Noida near Delhi later this month will go down in Indian Automobile Industry as a breakthrough event.
Conventional Wisdom : Formula One is an entity (Motorsport) which brings along an entourage of people and machinery which the worlds greatest Motorsporting arena’s crave for. It hosts the highest tech cars and automotive machinery fighting out for a championship which makes it spectator friendly just like any other major sport on the planet.
The BIGGER picture : Formula One can easily be credited for many of the revolutionary advancements in the Automobile industry ; Be it safety, engineering, efficiency or even logistics.
The deal for India and Indians : With a burgeoning Automobile industry next to none (I don’t consider China as intellectually or creatively a worthy competitor), this is a boon like none other :
1. A proper F1 spec track in a country of more than a billion souls and with 2 million new 4 wheelers hitting roads every year.
2. This will enhance a proper calender of events throughout the year.
3. Local and international racing activity will become a norm (initially a financial necessity for the track owners and later a cultural necessity as well, which we all want)
4. Within 3 years, Buddha Circuit will become a regular feature like the Sepang (Malaysia) or Yas Marina Circuit (Abu Dhabi) promoting Tourism more than the CWG could do ever do if hosted 5 years in a row.
5. This will prompt local interest and racing series’ to pop up (a more technical and professional addition to the existing motor-sporting activities in the country)
6. The VW Polo like cups will compel the other heavyweights in this region like Maruti/Hyundai to come up with their own versions.
7. Motorsport will become as much a professional enterprise as cricket has become with IPL, thus generating a lot of money and skilled employment.
8. The presence and credit will be co shared and developed by Motorsport and Auto Expo kind of events together.
The real impact (within a decade) : The gen-next will start relating to the heroics of these cars on track, to real time decision making while buying cars. The age old phrase of “Race on Monday, Sell on Monday” will stand true for Indian consumers.
The more important impact would be on the psyche of the Indian consumer. Things like performance and safety will finally have as much a say as mileage does.
Within a decade a billion and one-third more Indians will incorporate Motorsport as an integral part of automobiles and popular culture.
Bottomline : The first Big Bazaar changed organized retail in India for the better and for the good. The rest as they say is history and Big Bazaars’ have grown folds since the day.
2011 Indian GP is that ‘first’ Big Bazaar for Indian Automobile Industry.