Thursday, November 2, 2017

Wonder Cement Saath:7 Campaign 2017

Wonder Cement is a young cement company from Udaipur that has grown by leaps and bounds. The company began a large consumer engagement program in 2015 through what else - cricket. They organised one of the largest open cricket tournaments (played with a tennis ball) ever (in the world perhaps) across Rajasthan which was a huge success. Several all girl teams played the last edition which was won by MSG Club Bikaner. A 65 year old lady played. Several such milestones were achieved.
Unveiling the trophy
Now the company is back with the second edition.

Titled Saath:7 Cricket Mahotsav - signifying 'saath' as together and also 7 as a 7-a side 7 over tournament. Everyone is allowed to play. 48000 participants are expected to play this year. 300 games. Spread across the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The objectives of the tournament are - Respect for women (a girl member in the side will fetch the team 7 bonus runs), Uniting people, Empowerment of youth, Generation of local employment and Encouraging talent..

Prize money this year is 40 lakhs which is good enough for many good cricketers to go and play. The tournament begins at tehsil level then district level, then zonal level and then the play offs. The entire tournament is conducted over four weekends. Bats and balls are given to the players.
Yesterday Wonder Cement announced the second edition at the Taj Mahal Man Singh hotel in Delhi and the inimitable Tarun Singh Chauhan, man for all seasons and their management consultant invited me to attend the event. I went to Delhi in the morning and attended a glitzy program with Kapil Dev as the Chief Guest. The promoters from the Patni group, Vineet, Vikas and the senior management team was there. A large media contingent with about 100 people was present. My good friend Vijay Lokapally was there too so we all had a good time.

The promoters spoke about various facets of the company and the engagement program.Tarun spoke about the Saath 7 idea and how it was organised last year. A couple of well made AVs put the entire operation in perspective.
Young lads, Tarun, Kapil Dev and Me
And then Kapil Dev spoke. It was a lesson in public speaking and handling press conferences. He was in good humour and started with appreciating the compere Siddharth Kannan for his style and fluency in English. Then he spoke about the cricket initiative and how he hoped Wonder would go on to make bigger successes, and taking cricket and other games to more people in the country. He said something interesting - that cricket was so popular because everyone has an opinion on it. On all other things we don't have an opinion. I guess that's what makes things or people popular - to do or be something that makes people come up with an opinion on them.

He handled questions regarding the movie, the tennis ball format, comparison with Hardik Pandya and Pandya's batting order, the retirement of Nehra, the Rajasthan Association and its soured relations with the BCCI, with great aplomb and it went on and on and on and on that I just got tired watching. But he handled it patiently, with good humour, presence of mind and wit. Wonderful stuff.

Here's wishing what promises to be a wonderful cricket initiative and an innovative consumer engagement campaign all success. If all goes well, I will go to watch the finals in Udaipur. Thank you Tarun, Wonder Cement, Vijay for making it a memorable trip.

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