Apollo CV Awards 2018: A humble tribute to the industry
The ninth edition of ApolloCV Awards (2018) set the bar higher. Held on February 15, 2018, the event broke away from the tradition of having two panel discussions, held at the beginning of the ceremony. The awards ceremony this year began with a keynote address by Dr. Dhananjay Kumar, Managing Director, Electric Vehicle Program, Thor Power Corporation, USA. Marking yet another round of resounding success, the awards, held just after the Auto Expo 2018, like the editions prior, recieved strong support of the CV industry. Apollo Tyres, which has been a loyal partner since inception, provided whole hearted support to this edition of the awards as well. Work began with the inclusion of nomination forms in the November 2017 issue of CV magazine. The forms contained a nomination call for both, the fleet side and the non-fleet side. Nomination calls were simultaneously sent to OEMs, CV dealers, application builders and transporters over email and through other forms of communication. With most CV OEMs posting strong sales numbers in December 2018, there was reason to cheer. There was some reason for worry too. The lingering effect of demonetisation, migration to BSIV emission norms, and the implementation of GST, had an effect for CV sales for a better
part of the year.
The worry was unfounded as sixty nominations rolled in. And, in a short span of time. Over 742 nominations were received on the fleet side. The format for filling the technical specifications and a few other values were mailed to CV OEMs along with the nomination form. This decreased any chance of misunderstanding or error. One CV OEM, to part with certain information, took an undertaking from us! It read that the same would be consumed by the jury members only. The jury, comprising of Kaushik Madhavan, Director – Automotive & Transportation, Frost & Sullivan; Rajat Kataria, Divisional Head, Marketing CV (Asia Pacific, Middle East, North Africa), Apollo Tyres; Dilip Chhabria, Founder, DC Design; VG Ramakrishnan, Managing Director, Avanteum Advisors, and Bhushan Mhapralkar, Editor, CV magazine, met in Mumbai on January 18, 2018, to adjudge OEMs (trucks and buses) and CV application award categories.
By no means was it an easy task. The non-fleet nominations, marked a 10 to 12 per cent rise, and reflected upon the changes – undercurrents and complexities, that swept through the CV industry in 2017. New trends, including blurring of boundaries between various CV segments was observed. Also observed was a move towards higher tonnage and new technologies to up efficiency, safety and comfort. If the haulage MCVs nominations seemed to be less, considerable nominations were received in the tipper category. Similarly, good nominations in HCVs, LCVs, pickups and SCVs were received. If indicated a shift in tonnage. The CVs that were nominated, reflected upon stark as well as subtle changes. It was tough for the jury to pick up the winners. Especially in the wake of a firm resolve by the CV industry to conquer challenges; to keep moving, and to turn out new, exciting products.
Many intricacies evolved during the judging process. Long debates followed; a deep exploration of domain knowledge and experience was resorted to. It was after considerable effort that the results were achieved. They were born out of the consideration for parameters like (a) fitness for application, (b) quality of aggregates, (c) fuel efficiency and drive-ability (d) option to have a vehicle better suited for the purpose, (e) price, and (f) sales. This was applied to vehicles that were made available during the 2017 calendar year. The jury arrived at 25 awards to do justice to all the constituents. The expertise of Metric Consultancy Ltd. was tapped into. To first invite and then vet fleet operator and dealer nominations. Metric dealt with 742 nominations (an increase of 10 to 12 per cent) over a span of three months. These nominations were put through the wringer using the Journey of Excellence parameter derived from the British Quality Foundation.
To host senior representatives of the CV industry was a privilege. To watch them interact with the incumbents provided a glimpse of the shape of things to come. The picture (in this section) should provide a fair idea of what happened at the Jury meet on
January 18, 2018. On the following pages is a synopsis of the keynote address and the panel discussion that preceded the awards evening. As one may discover, the industry heavyweights did not hesitate to air their views on important issues. Let us get on to the nominations and who won the awards.
⇨ H. S. Billimoria, CEO, Next Gen Publishing.
⇦ Rajesh Dahiya, Group Head Sales - India, SAARC & OCEANA, Apollo Tyres.
⇩ Vetting over 60 entries, marking a 10 per cent increase this year, was no easy task for the jury compromising of (L to R) V G Ramakrishnan, Managing Director, Avanteum Advisors LLP; Bhushan Mhapralkar, Editor, Commercial Vehicle Magazine; Rajat Kataria, Divisional Head, Marketing-CV (Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa), Apollo Tyres; Dilip Chhabria, Founder DC Design, and Kaushik Madhavan, Director, Automotive & Transportation, MENASA, Frost & Sullivan.