The Road leading to the Beginning: Part I

May 18, 2012

IIT. Indian Institutes of Technology. The highly revered educational institution of India sees millions of students work day and night to give an entrance exam.

And the one’s who get through have no idea how hard they have to slog just to keep with the expectations set by the standards of the institute. It is a tough life demanding a lot from an intellectual, emotional, financial and sometimes physical perspectives.

I always wondered why would anyone endure so much pain, for what, and I kept miles away from those exams. I was actually quite fascinated in a good way by the ‘IITians’ and what they did.

Until sometime ago, I realized myself, that I was also preparing for a sort of exam, like they were. Amusingly, (although understandably) it was just from a third person’s perspective it looked like I was just riding swanky motorcycles!

The road leading to the inception of this trip, from tomorrow, the 19th of May, when the roadtrip will start, was akin to slogging for an IIT entrance exam.

Five and a Half Months was the time that it took for me to pass this exam and  the results were out not more than a week ago. As as far the entrance results were concerned, I had topped them into the driver’s rider’s seat.

My ‘term’ in this ‘IIT’ will begin from tomorrow, my teachers will be Prof. Unknown Road, Prof. Border Crossings, Prof. Paperwork, Prof. Language and the Dean would be Mr.Luck.

I haven’t learnt so much as I have in the last few months when I was juggling between many critically important tasks, and I am sure I will be learning even more in the coming forty days of this roadtrip. When I ride from Dubai to Misano, Italy via Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia.

Analogies and philosophies aside, how did this actually happen. Ah, but before I delve into that, let me end with one more ‘fact’.

Sponsorship

Lot of people approach me to learn about getting sponsorships and if I could help them get it. Many a times I want to help, but I wish they realized that sponsorship does not mean taking money for a free ride. It is far from that. Yes, if you want to do one ride and then say time out, it could be easy to ‘coax’ a sponsor into shelling out some money. But if you don’t deliver and meet their expectations, then you can forget to have any kind of relationship with them. ‘Sponsorships are like advance salary’. You need to do the job you promised to do. Here is a short roadmap for a successful sponsorship relationship:

Become Eligible – Pitch – Get rejected-Pitch More – Get rejected again- Pitch some more – Get sponsorship – Sign agreement and MoU – Prepare for your ride and execute it as expectations while trying to enjoy it as much as possible – come back – process deliverables – ask feedback from company.

Repeat process.

Many people do not wish to acknowledge the first step at all. Even if they manage to bypass it, the second, third and fourth takes a lot of toll on them and they give up there. Many a times it is because of misplaced egos and the effort involved.

One needs to remember that pitching for sponsorship is like giving an interview for a job and it is not easy by miles.

I wish, I could give a lot deeper insight, but then I would let the management teachers do an analysis and come up with a mathematical formula with probabilities for that.

At this point, let me also say that xBhp, as India’s Largest Motorcycling Platform, has always strived to create opportunities which bypass the sponsorship stage and give an opportunity ‘on the plate’ for the motorcyclists in India. We have seen in the past how people have won motorcycles, roadtrips and most importantly recognition for their work through xBhp.

xBhp will strive to do this even more in the future with a wider range of equal opportunities, this little bit I can promise.

So that was the sponsorship part. Let me start with

 The Inception of the trip

I clearly remember it was 8th of January at the Auto Expo. The Ducati stall was right in front of the xBhp stall (although ours was mightier smaller in size, but not in ambition).

While chatting away with the Ducati representative, I was told “Sundeep, we have a great opportunity for you. We would like you to come to the World Ducati Week in Italy this year. Riding down.

It took me a short while to understand what they were saying. They wanted me to ride a Ducati from New Delhi to Italy! And not just ride down for anything, but for the fantastic and prestigious World Ducati Week in the heart of a country that knows nothing about slow motorcycles.

My head was spinning and while I left with some ‘Ciaos’, I knew that a fire had been lit and I would not rest until I would know if it is possible or not.

Next Blog: The First Roadblock

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