We land at New Delhi airport in the early afternoon. The temperature is already approaching 35 degrees, but it feels kind of comfy. New Delhi is the current seat of government in India and is emerging on the global stage as a top city. There is a lot of activity at the airport and I have the impression that you can feel the buzz of the growing economy.

Meeting Onkar and Neeraj Kanwar from Apollo Tyres in New Delhi - CoolBrands Around the World in 80 Brands
Meeting Onkar and Neeraj Kanwar from Apollo Tyres in New Delhi – CoolBrands Around the World in 80 Brands

We are here at the same time as the annual BRICS summit, a conference attended by the heads of government of the five member states Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. These countries are in a similar stage of economic development and the five countries combined account for more than a quarter of the world’s land area and more than 40% of the world’s population.

We exit the terminal building and hail a taxi. “Please take us to the Taj Mahal Hotel,” I say. The taxi driver shakes his head from side to side but I can’t tell if it’s a yes or a no. We decide to get in the car anyway.

Goldman Sachs has argued that by 2050 the combined BRICS economy could eclipse the rest of the world’s economies. India has already entered the top 10 of the largest economies in the world and has shown a huge growth rate over the last decade. This is primarily due to an increase in the number of middle-class consumers and a large labour force.

The taxi takes the road to Gurgaon in the direction of its hugely popular shopping malls. The traffic is getting denser and the taxi gets stuck between trucks and buses. “We’re kind of in a hurry,” I say to the driver. He swivels his head again, without answering.

“But it’s not only an increase in size of the consumer middle-class or a large labour force,” I say to Anouk. “There are also some intelligent entrepreneurs pushing the Indian economy upwards. What Azim Premji did in the IT sector or Mittal in the steel industry certainly adds to India’s gross domestic product.” “And then of course there is the Tata group,” Anouk adds.

The taxi exits the main road, turns left, then right and then left again and we see New Delhi passing by from our car windows.

“Is it still far, the Taj Mahal Hotel?” I ask the driver. “We have a meeting with Mr. Onkar Kanwar and his son Neeraj,” I tell the driver, trying to convince him of the importance of the meeting, “from Apollo Tyres.” The driver makes his signature head movement again in answer. “Is that a yes or a no?” I whisper to Anouk. I sit back and look outside.

Mr. Onkar Kanwar has been the Chairman of Apollo Tyres since the nineties and is the chief architect of the company’s vision. His son Neeraj Kanwar now holds the reigns of this $2.5 billion company and is leading it into the global arena. We’re meeting them at the Taj Mahal Hotel to talk about the worldwide expansion of the Apollo brand.

That is, if we make it in time for the meeting. “How long do you think it will take to the Taj Mahal Hotel?” I ask the driver again. “Our meeting is in 10 minutes.”

The driver stops the car and looks back over his shoulder. “That means you will be on time, sir,” he says, pointing out of the right side window. “The Taj Mahal Hotel is just here.”

© 2012 CoolBrands – Around the World in 80 Brands



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Tags: Global Storytelling Campaign, Anouk Pappers, Maarten Schäfer, Around the World in 80 Brands, Around the World, 80 Brands, Around the World in 80 days, CoolBrands Storytelling, Storytelling, CoolBrands, cool storytelling, third party storytelling, creating talk value, storytelling, meeting Apollo, meeting Apollo tyres, Apollo tyres, Apollo, Apollo vredestein, bandi, bandi vaczi, vaczi, Onkar Kanwar, Neeraj Kanwar, kanwar, neeraj, onkar, Dunlop tyres, meeting Onkar Kanwar, new delhi, india, meeting Neeraj Kanwar, go the distance, Apollo go the distance, gurgaon

 By Maarten Schäfer – By Maarten Schafer