From #MakeInIndia to Made in India

The #MakeInIndia week at Mumbai has been quite an eventful one. A lot has been learned here, and I have understood a lot about various things.

Barring an unfortunate incident involving a fire at the Maharashtra Night cultural program at Girgaum Chowpatty, the event has been a largely successful one.

Among the various exhibits and tidbits I managed to gather over the last two days while covering the event, here are some:

Amitabh Kant, Secretary of Industrial Policy and Promotion stressed on the need to not only Manufacture in India, but also Invent, Innovate and Design in India.

Scania and Volvo had got their new buses.

The Scania was the same bus that had been given to the Nagpur Mahanagar Parivahan Limited. It is India’s first bio-fuel bus, and it’s components are mostly sourced from India itself.

The Volvo was a Hybrid B7RLE/8400 model that NMMT had ordered. Of course, this does mean that BEST’s AC services are going to take a hit, but that is a different story altogether.

Ministers and industrialists spoke about road connectivity, rail connectivity, and inland water transport. While the former two were with regard to connecting ports, the latter was to decongest ports and roads. Now, if one can equate Passenger and Cargo traffic, you could come to the conclusion that a set-up for Freight should ideally work for a Set-up for Passengers as well, with minor modifications. This needs to be explored big time. The ship-building industry has a vast potential in India, and this needs to be explored big time by major cities, especially Mumbai, Surat, Chennai, Kolkata, and Mangalore. Connecting Ports to Hinterland with Rail, Road, and Inland Waterways will be a big boon for people living in the vicinity. It will encourage healthy competition [not the BEST vs NMMT kind, which is toxic] among different modes, and boost trade and productivity.

Amitabh Kant stressed on the need to manufacture more in India. While Services may form bulk of our economy, manufacturing is a must for it to be sustainable. This works in case of transport too. Buses need to be manufactured, trains need to be manufactured. With FDI is the rail sector, especially, high-speed rail, things are certainly set to change. He also mentioned that “Good quality Frugal Eningeering and Smartness must be combined to develop an Indian ability to manufacture”, which is true. One cannot directly apply global standards to India. India has different constraints, as well as requirements, and this must be taken care of.

Overall, I was part of several brilliant sessions, with various ministers, as well as Industrialists being part of there. I also, saw a lot of the exhibitions in vicinity.

Now, for other things:

The Fire

The fire that broke out at the Stage during the Maharashtra Night cultural programme at Girgaum Chowpatti was a rather unfortunate one. It was a stray firework and of course, the event company must be penalised. It was an unfortunate event and the ever-awesome Mumbai Fire Brigade rushed to the spot in no time and had the fire under control with no casualties. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis himself stayed back till the end of the rescue operation to ensure that all had been led to safety. What peeves me off is that while not only did political parties try and gain political mileage out of this, but certain people went to the extent of calling it “Fake In India”, mocking the entire event, and making fun of a calamity, by way of which, they insulted the work done by the Firemen, as well as the Organisers of the entire event [not just the Cultural Programme].

The Auto Strike

Auto-Walas chose the wrong week to strike. Auto drivers across the city decided to strike  on Monday 15th February in a protest against cab aggregators and illegal buses in the city as well as raised fares for issuing auto permits. However, BEST saved the day. BEST ran close to 90 extra services, ferrying 12 million people more on that day than the previous, and earning ₹5.2crore, which is ₹73lakh more than normal on that single day. However, BEST should have been running extra services to BKC, both Double-Deckers as well as special AC buses on that day, keeping the Make In India program in mind. Along with this, AC services should have been running on an hourly basis in and around BKC for the week. The strike didn’t impact NMMT or TMT much however, as it was within Mumbai city limits.

Other Observations

Nagpur Mahanagar Parivahan Limited [NMPL]'s Scania biofuel bus.
Nagpur Mahanagar Parivahan Limited [NMPL]’s Scania biofuel bus. Image copyright Srikanth Ramakrishnan, CC-BY-SA 4.0 International, available on the Wikimedia Commons.

The Scania Citybus that NMPL recieved in 2014 was present. The bus runs on an Ethanol based blend and is both eco-friendly as well as fuel efficient. The bus went to Nagpur because the Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari hails from Nagpur. One hopes that with MSRTC inducting Scanias into its fleet, BEST too would get this.

NMMT's Volvo Hybrid Bus.
NMMT’s Volvo Hybrid Bus. Image Copyright Srikanth Ramakrishnan, CC BY SA 4.0 International, available on the Wikimedia Commons.

The new Volvo Hybrid bus that has been launched on the 8400 platform was on display. NMMT has purchased 5 of these buses that run on Diesel-CNG and this is definitely going to take a toll on BEST.

An airconditioned minivan built by Force Motors.
An airconditioned minivan built by Force Motors. Image copyright Srikanth Ramakrishnan, CC BY SA 4.0 International, available on the Wikimedia Commons.

Force Motors had on display, a minivan. This minivan seemed very comfortable, and reasonable luxurious. Personally, I believe it can be used as a Feeder service to the Metro.

Bajaj Qute.
Bajaj Qute. Image copyright Srikanth Ramakrishnan, CC BY SA 4.0 International, available on the Wikimedia Commons.

Bajaj’s Quadricycle, the Qute was also present there. The Qute can actually be used as an alternative for auto-rickshaws, or maybe be the Kaali-Peeli vs Cool Cab type.

And, the bonus:

BEML 205 Ton Dumper.
BEML 205 Ton Dumper. Image copyright Srikanth Ramakrishnan, CC BY SA 4.0 International, available on the Wikimedia Commons.

The mammoth 205-ton dumper that Bharat Earth Movers Limited [BEML] built for mining purposes was also there.

Other observations and quotes:

  • In the food court, Falafels was using a Balaji Ticketing machine that Trimax uses for BEST and MSRTC.
  • Sadhguruji of the Isha Yoga Foundation was present, and made a few inspiring statements:
  1. True design unlocks better thinking, better insights, better products & better humans.
  2. Design should be used for promoting & leveraging towards sustainable growth for one and all.
  • Amitabh Kant of the Niti Aayog, too had a lot of motivating statements:
  1. Design is important in manufacturing & improving products. India will be providing solutions. to 6-7 billion people in the world with design.
  2. Challenge is to make urbanization sustainable. Compact cities, connectivity, sanitation, safety depends on design & innovation.
  3. India must be ready for smart, frugal innovation.

Overall, #MakeInIndia week was brilliant. It was a brilliant experience, and one that would last a lifetime.

Here is a Robot that was programmed to pick up objects:

Robotics #MakeInIndia

A video posted by Kaboom-wala (@rsrikanth05) on

 

For those interested:

I’m a freelance Digital Media Marketing consultant. I was hired to cover the #MakeInIndia week on Social Media, and prior to this, I was part of CII’s Partnership Summit in Visakhapatnam in January 2016. Should you want to engage with me and my associates, please drop in a line at  bestpedia[at]gmail[dot]com.

If you are sharing this post on Twitter, please do consider Retweeting the tweet below; it was RT’ed by Amitabh Kant himself.

 

Highlights of the Transport sector from #MakeInIndia week. Click To Tweet

 

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BESTpedia at #BNLF

So last week I was fortunate enough to attend Day 1 of IndiBlogger’s Blog Now, Live Forever [BNLF] event at The Lalit in Bombay. A lot of knowledge was shared, from the speakers, from my blogging bretheren, and various others, and I intend to document what I learned with this blog post.

BNLF was my first ever blogging event, in spite of me having had a blog since 2005. I didn’t want to miss it, and I was super glad to know that I didn’t have an examination on that day.

I bought myself a new shirt, and left the previous evening. The event was to start at 8am on 31st, and I didn’t want to risk taking the 5.15 Shivneri. I took a Hirkani at 2am the previous night, and landed up at Mumbai Central at 6am. I spent some time at a Starbucks prior to that, working on my Blog Post [The Laws of Waiting for Buses], before heading to Swargate Bus Station, where I whiled away my time reading newspapers, and watching some guys shoot a TV show with a Red Pro 5.0 camera. I learnt that MSRTC has a Weekly pass for ₹1600 that allows you travel anywhere in India in a non AC bus. Must use this for future blogging adventures.

Anyway, after spending 4 hours at Swargate Bus Station, I can now certify myself as a true Swargate-Keeda. I reached Bombay at 6am. I got out at Mumbai Central, did some loitering around the ST Depot, went up to the BEST depot, then came back to the Railway Station and took a slow train to Andheri. I wanted to go slowly so that I wouldn’t land up before time.

I landed up at Andheri Station at 7am, and spent the next twenty minutes loitering around Agarkar Chowk. I saw NMMT’s AC-122 and TMT’s AC-125 waiting there. I was appalled to see a sticker on the BEST bus stop saying that AS-422 was cancelled on Sundays. I ranted about it on Twitter, and felt bad, especially because my blog is dedicated to BEST buses, and AS-422 was the first AC bus I took in Bombay after the 2008 renumbering. I waited till the first AS-422 arrived because it struck me that I had no picture of AS-422 in my collection till date. I played around with the focus of my camera for a while, and patiently [tapping my foot impatiently though] waiting for people walking into my frame to walk out. At 7.45, I took the Metro to the Airport Road station and started walking towards The Lalit. I reached the Lalit at 8.10 and guess what? I was early. Like .every. other. single. time.

The event started an hour later. There was a live performance by the IndiBlogger band “Blunder in the Code”, along with Nadisha Thomas.

And now, for the keynote speakers.

Purba Ray

I’ve been following Purba Ray’s writings online for a while now. My favourite writing of hers was a Political one that I had read in 2014 on The Unreal Times. I really enjoyed it for two reasons: Finding NaMo and The Clown Prince. I freelance as a humour/comedy script-writer and Purba Ray has been one of the sources of inspiration for me for the past year and a half. She brought up the age old question that we Bloggers face: What do we do? What do we do, apart from blogging? What do we do, to fill our stomachs? Having faced this question in the past, having to answer to various people, that my blog is indeed my main source of livelihood, I could comprehend. She encouraged us bloggers to keep blogging, something that only a true blogger can actually do, since the rest of the world looks at bloggers as people who do it as a hobby.

Arnab Ray

I’ve come across Arnab Ray earlier, under his Twitter handle although I didn’t know that it was him. A doctorate in Computer Science, Arnab has been blogging since 2004, just a year longer than me. He started out with reviews of Mithunda films [reviewing Gunda long before Kanan Gill and Sahil Shah did], and wrote about everyday stuff. He reminded us to feel free to take potshots at politicians, something you may see me doing in the near future. Arnab, however contradicted Purba by telling us to keep our blogging as far away as possible from our professional lives. So much for making blogging our living, but still.

Kanan Gill

Kanan Gill  spoke about his experiences, his writings and how he became a blogger. He didn’t talk about Video Blogging, but he spoke a lot about getting motivated. He kept a slide titled The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Monk Who Sold His Ferrari You Can Win – A motivational talk. Then came the slide with just ‘Boobs’ on it, and the slide with his final advice:

Just resolve to be happy

Inculcate positive thoughts

Zoom in to focus and find your

Zest in life

This, was also known as the JIZZ theory.

Christophe Trappe and Jeff Bullas

While these two were separate sessions, I’m going to talk about them together, since they were closely related. Among the important things I learnt was: The Best SEO is unique Content. Use Seductive Headings. Christophe stressed on Authentic Storytelling is Everything under the Sun, Blogposts that are 500-700 words in length are the best, but 1200-1300 word posts get shared more often. Jeff reiterated that  one must make their content clear and genuine, That is the real art of catching traffic.

Anshul Tiwari

Anshul Tiwari, is the founder of YouthKiAwaaz [YKA], a platform that enables people to forth their opinions. His talk was about the importance of public opinions in modern day scenarios. He explained his time with bringing up YKA as a website, to the level it is at today.

Preeti Shenoy
Preeti Shenoy, is an award-winning, bestselling author. She has won numerous awards for her books, and the best part about her? She started out as a blogger too! She explained how she went from a Blogger to an Author, explained why anyone would prefer a publisher rather than self-publishing their works. She explained why Rejections shouldn’t demotivate you from writing. She then proceeded to explain the importance of various points related to writing, such as developing a specific skillset, doing proper research etc.

The key point of hers that I made a note of is: Never get a Writers Block, Keep Writing. Write atleast 500 words a Day.

I’ve resolved to buy all her books and read them all. I stopped reading Indian authors thanks to Chetan Bhagat but Ms. Shenoy has convinced me otherwise.

Bruce Dickinson
The last speaker of the day was Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of the rock band Iron Maiden. Bruce is also an accomplished pilot and fencing champion. He’s a brilliant guy, he still uses a Nokia 3310, albeit taped up. He spoke about many things, mostly about how to keep the consumers of your product loyal. He spoke about how Iron Maiden made use of Airline schedules to brand their own plane and how he managed to continue using it for branding even after their tour was done. He spoke about Trooper Beer that he had developed to promote the bands album. He mentioned his aircraft repair workshop in detail. He spent the greater part of the speech defining a Customer and a Fan and why a Fan is more important that the Customer: The customer may leave, a fan won’t. He then proceeded to explain his concept of 0+0=1, or ‘Take Something, Add Value to it’. Again, for someone who take Blogging very seriously, this is a super important concept. Value-addition drives the Service sector forward and now I think and ask myself: What value am I adding to the Blogosphere with BESTpedia? What value am I adding to the IndiBlogger network by blogging about Buses? His analogy of the Creative Mosquito; an Idea is like a Mosquito, always around but hard to see, made perfect sense to me. My drafts can attest to that.

Key takeaways from the day

  • Keep headlines simple and short
  • Keep content simple and get loyal readership
  • Evergreen content can be shared multiple times
  • Create content for skimming and scanning
  • Think like a publisher

All this done, I was unable to attend the Backstage party as I had to leave and head back to Pune. I collected my IndiBlogger BNLF tee, a bright red one, which adds to my collection of primary colours, for I have a Yellow one. A green one would make me a walking Traffic Signal, so, I’m on the lookout for the perfect Green tee. I took the metro, reached Maitri park, where as I stated in a comment on my article ‘The Laws of Waiting for Buses’ [which I was working on the previous night and finished between Purba Ray and Arnab Ray’s talks], missed my MSRTC and took an NWKRTC Airavat. Of course, I did not know that NWKRTC was infinitely slower than KSRTC. I reached Aamchi Pune at midnight, [Chembur at 8pm, Hinjewadi at 12am, yes], cried, and headed back to my campus.

BNLF Day 1 was a brilliant experience. The exchange of knowledge was what really mattered. I got to speak to Christophe Trappe and Purba Ray and they gave me some brilliant ideas, the former on Marketing and Branding, the latter on writing Humour. The only two things that put me off were BEST cancelling AS-422 on Sundays and NWKRTC leaving Borivali at 5.30 pm and reaching Swargate at 12am.

I am now a Blogging Genius, hehe, imparting my awesome Gyaan on campus to other people, and having them bow down to me [of course not, if it were true, I’d be arrested for Slavery].

For those interested, I’m a Script and Screenplay writer in my normal life apart from being a Marketing and Media fellow. I freelance a lot and you know can ping me on bestpedia[at]gmail[dot]com if you ever wish to hire me.

A special thanks to the IndiBlogger team for their awesomeness. Thanks Renie, Vineeth, Anoop, and the rest of the IndiCrew. You guys made my day. Thanks to all the other bloggers who were there, we wouldn’t be anything without each other. You guys made it possible. Thanks all. Keep blogging, stay amazing. Blog Now, Live Forever!

Adios, folks! Till my next post, which will be in a day or two, go travel in a bus, smile at a conductor, be polite, collect tickets, and live the life of the Daily Bus Commuter.

P.S: Thank you guys, sponsors and all. I got to ride a Segway that day.

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BESTpedia is live

This is my first post.

Hi, this is just to say hi to all of you.

BESTpedia, as the name suggests, is all about BEST.  What is BEST, you ask?

Well, BEST [or बेस्ट] is the ubiquitous red bus that you see on the roads of Bombay [or Mumbai if you prefer].

However, that is not all, while BESTpedia will remain to serve as a place where I document BEST, it will also have a few posts here and there on other Transcos like the PMPML, BMTC, NMMT, AMTS, DTC, KSRTC, MTC, MSRTC, et al. It may also delve into other transport related elements, including, but not limited to Toll Plazas, and Road Medians.

A post or two, once in a while may appear, linking you to a video or short film that we would have made.

Till the next post, adios, cheerio, adieu, goodbye.

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