Cover Story

Apollo CV Awards 2018: A hum­ble trib­ute to the in­dus­try

Commercial Vehicle - - WHAT'S INSIDE - Pho­tog­ra­phy: San­jay Raikar and Mahesh Reddy

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.

⇦ Ra­jesh Dahiya, Group Head Sales - In­dia, SAARC & OCEANA, Apollo Tyres.

⇨ H. S. Bil­limo­ria, CEO, Next Gen Pub­lish­ing.

⇩ 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...

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