As most of you would know…Starting June 2, 2010 and for the next 26 days, I travelled on this road show as a travel blogger and photographer, providing live coverage of this pan-India event on the Superdrive Blog.
The Tata Nano Superdrive was a road trip that aimed to take the Nano car to the common masses of India. Over 26 days, 9 cars left on 3 different routes. 3 cars on each route. I was on the ‘White Route’.
On the White Route, we covered 6,200 kms across 9 states and 17 cities during our 26 day journey. Geographically, this route spanned West – Central – East India.
The route map for the ‘White Route’ looked something like this:
Ahmedabad (Gujarat) –> Indore (Madhya Pradesh) –> Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) –> Nagpur (Maharashtra) –> Raipur (Chhattisgarh) –> Raigarh (Chhattisgarh) –> Ranchi (Jharkhand) –> Patna (Bihar) –> Dhanbad (Jharkhand) –> Kolkata (West Bengal) –> Bhubaneshwar (Orissa) –> Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) –> Vijaywada (Andhra Pradesh) –> Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) –> Aurangabad (Maharashtra) –> Nashik (Maharashtra) –> Mumbai (Maharashtra).
The other two routes were the Green Route (West-South-West) and the Saffron Route (West-North-West). Shrinidhi Hande and Debarpita Mohapatra were the travel bloggers for the green route and saffron route respectively and they wrote about their journey on the Superdrive-Green Route and Superdrive-Saffron Route blogs.
This road trip was really special for me as this was the first time I consistently travelled in high summer temperatures. More or less, during the entire trip, the temperatures stayed well above 40 degree Celsius. The highest was at Nagpur when the maximum temperature touched 49 degree Celsius.
(The above video is the copyright of Tata Motors Limited)
The White Route was the longest amongst the three different routes and hence the entire squadron and me included spent the most time on the road. The bad to worse road conditions of the central India states didn’t help our cause and we fell further behind in our time management.
This was also the first major road show I was a part of. Tata Motors and Shobiz, the event management company executed the entire road show very well. They were ably supported by local media partners, radio partners, folks from the press and other local event management partners.
While the Shobiz team and the other partners managed the road show, I simply enjoyed my journey. Photography and Blogging is so much an integral part of my normal life that I found no trouble in playing the role of a ‘Travel Blogger and Photographer’ on this road trip.
Connectivity at some stretches were patchy, but Reliance Netconnect sure has an amazing reach and does a commendable job while travelling through the interior parts of the country. I used a Reliance Netconnect Broadband +.
Here is how my typical day in the city looked liked…
Breakfast –> Flag off Ceremony from local Tata Motors Dealership with media presence –> Advertising, Press, Media and Photography sessions at three pre-decided prominent landmarks within the city –> Locals can use the landmark sessions to check the cars out and also test drive, if possible –> Radio Partners take their lucky listeners on a test drive and then share their experience on air. Even I went on air once, I guess at Nagpur…Radio City or Mirchi. –> In parallel, events are executed in a mall within the city.
Once the pre-lunch session was over, I used to be given one car for close to two hours to go explore the city. This was a great idea and gave me freedom and flexibility to travel outside of the trip itinerary and plan.
In the evening, there used to be a dinner party in some large hotel in the city where all Nano customers were invited. This open gathering drew in significant crowds. Most of the time, I used to miss these dinner parties as I either used to be dead tired from all the travel or was held up with photograph processing and blogging work.
Most of the days, I was pressed for time. I got a tummy upset once. The lack of sleep hurt. The hot weather used to get to me consistently. But, the sheer love for travel and exploration used to make up for the tough times.
Plus, I used to meet so many interesting people and personalities. At each city, I would meet a new Tata Motors Territory Manager and a Customer Service Manager. Then, different people from the press, media and from the common mass. All these different people made for some interesting company and great memories.
In overall, this was a great road trip that gave me this brilliant opportunity to be a part of such a large scale road show and allowed me to explore more of India. I would like to thank TATA MOTORS for having selected me for this fantastic journey.
The entire photo album from this Superdrive journey can be viewed in the slideshow below.
Note: Tata Nano and Tata Nano Superdrive are registered trademarks of Tata Motors. The Tata Nano Superdrive video is the copyright of Tata Motors Limited.