Sunday, December 31, 2017

Wonder Cement Saath7 Cricket Mahotsav 2017 - World's Largest Consumer Engagement

I do believe this truly was a wonderful event. Simply because of the scale and the amount of joy the event spread. For the uninitiated, Udaipur based Wonder Cement, arguably one of the the fastest growing cement company in India, pulled off what could well be the biggest consumer engagement program in the world by hosting Saath7, 2017. The scale and numbers support the claim.
Saath7 2017 Winner SC Club, Jaipur with Kapil Dev, Vivek Patni and Mr. Shrikhand Kripalani
Saath 7 Cricket Mahotsav
Saath7 is a cricket Mahotsav that invites people across classes, communities, region and any other division to form a team of 7 and register and play. Saath7 is a modified cricket game of 7 overs, played by a team of 7, which includes any person over the age of 15, includes women in teams, has no other bar and gives bonus runs to teams that have a woman player.

The first version was held successfully across 248 tehsils in Rajasthan in 2015 and was a roaring success. Wonder Cement held the tournament across 3 states (Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh). The logistics for this edition - 5000 matches, 48,000 participants, 60 women teams and over 1000 women participating. The total prize money awarded was Rs. 40 lakhs.

Held over four weekends in December 2017, the tournament progressed from tehsil level to district level to zonal level and then the state level. From pitches to player registrations to umpires to clothes to prize moneys, everything was organised without a hitch.
Kapil Dev at a press conference
The Final of Saath7 2017
The final  was held on 24th December 2017 at the scenic DPS School ground in Udaipur. SSC Club Jaipur won this year's edition defeating PCA11 Ahmedabad by 23 runs. In the women's category, Pace Maker, Udaipur defeated SS Jain Subodh Girls PG College of Jaipur by 5 wickets. A large number of spectators watched the match at the ground and lakhs of viewers watched this amateur tournament on TV,  telecast live on NEO Sports.  

The winning team in the men's category won Rs. 3.5 lakhs and the runner up were awarded prizes of Rs. 1 lakh and Rs. 70,000 respectively.The Women champion team won a prize money of Rs. 1.4 lakh and the runner up team earned Rs. 70,000. Each player was also provided with a sports kit.

The Man of the Match was Lakhan of SSC Club, Jaipur, best batsman was Sushil Meena of SSC Club, best fielder was Sanjay Bhadania of PCA 11, and best bowler was Kunal Kaushik of Friends Club, Rajasthan. Each was awarded a cash prize of Rs. 7000. In the women's category Divya from Pace Maker was declared Player of the Match and Player of the series (won Rs. 3500 and Rs. 14000 respectively)

Well Done Wonder Cement
I enjoyed watching the games on TV. There is more fun sometimes in the amateur sport than the shine and glitz and even boredom of professional players (watch the Ranji final now between Vidarbha and Delhi and you know what I mean).  My good friend Tarun Singh Chauhan conceived and made this almost dream like tournament happen and I am amazed at what the company and the tournament has done and proud of Tarun for what he has done with such a sensible and seemingly idealistic idea.

Achieved Objectives
Wonder Cement held its beliefs of wanting to achieve a few objectives through the tournament. Apart from engaging with the consumers, the tournament unites people and brings them together. It encourages women to participate and thereby aims to give them the respect and dignity they deserve, it provides employment opportunities and it uncovers and encourages new talent through the exposure, kits and coaching facilities.

Kapil Dev Gives a prize of Rs. 1 Lakh from His Pocket
Kapil Dev, who kicked off the launch on November 1, 2017, in a wonderful program in Delhi (I attended that) was also present at the concluding day. He was so impressed by what the tournament has done to cricket (something that state cricket associations should be doing) that he even gave away a prize of Rs. 1 lakh from his pocket to the best player of the tournament, Sushil Meena of SSC Club Jaipur. It must have been a thrilling moment for the young cricketers to meet the legend, arguably the best cricketer India produced ever.

I am sure that Wonder Cement would take this initiative further and bring more joy to the interiors of India. It is wonderful that they chose a popular game and have been able to involve people of all classes, communities, genders and ages. A pat on the back for Wonder Cement and its team for making this happen.

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