For all the glamour on the screen, it is grit that is put to the test and the rawer it is, the more polished your product seems to the viewing populace. That is a lesson taught by the people who brought you Bajaj Pulsar Dare Venture.
The show, Bajaj Pulsar Dare Venture has already broken new ground here in Nepal. Priding itself as the first Bike Reality Show, it taps into the 18-35 age demographic that has motorcycles engraved in their subconscious. Ask any SLC student what he wants first of all when he is done with his exams and see how many say they want their first 2-wheeler. The frenzy around the biking culture in Nepal was ripe for the taking and Bajaj Pulsar Dare Venture did just that and much more. It has brought normal riders, young riders and seasoned riders together with stunt riders all the while incorporating their own personalities into a TV show. And speaking of the TV show, the reception and feedback has been evident on how well the concept has worked here in Nepal.
The hard work that went into organizing and executing a project of this magnitude required some serious set of skills and patience. All the teams involved from HH Bajaj to Kantipur TV to Vayodhya Hospital to ECS Media along with the drivers and mechanics were part of the unit that brought you this series. At some point, all of them played a pivotal role for the smooth running of the shoot. All their contributions helped the shooting of the show along the way and the camaraderie built on the road isn’t easily forgotten and not just among the riders.
So we take it right to the beginning. The brainstorming session at Bajaj Headquarters that yielded this idea and one of the people chiefly responsible for the whole thing is Poonam Singh, Head of Marketing HH Bajaj. From the boardrooms, to the plans, to the closed camps, to Chaile in Upper Mustang, she was a constant presence and usually the guiding force through most of it. Singh moderated and oversaw right from the beginning all the way to the end so she has quite a story to tell. We sit down with Poonam Singh and delve further into what went into making Bajaj Pulsar Dare Venture happen and what was achieved through it:
First and foremost, where did the idea for Dare Venture come from?
The credit for the idea of Dare Venture goes to the Executive Director of HH Bajaj, Mr. Shekhar Golchha. It was one of the regular brainstorming meetings six months back when he shared the idea. The initial plan was for an all-expense paid ride for Pulsar customers in order to increase their brand affiliation and to further strengthen Pulsars association with adventure. It was Mr. Golchha’s vision and support that gave Pulsar Dare venture its current shape and stature.
How did you conceptualize it to adapt it to appeal to the Nepali people?
We had always felt the need to do something different and adventurous for Pulsar. Whenever Pulsar is thought of, it is associated with youth, and youth these days like challenges. The selection of the terrain of Upper Mustang was to cater to that need of our customer base. However, as much as we would have loved to include all, it was not really possible, so keeping the practicality in mind we decided to select 10 riders who would then have to clear all four rounds of screenings. The dry lands of Upper Mustang is not only breathtakingly beautiful but also untamed. So naturally, ensuring safety was the biggest challenge. Three marshals with strong off-roading skills and experience were selected to lead and guide our riders along with paramedic backup from Vayodhya Hospital and mechanic support by Bajaj itself. Though only 10 riders got the opportunity to go for the ride, it would not have been fair to restrict the ride to only these selected participants. To give access to all we converted it into a reality show. Every event has its purpose and Pulsar Dare Venture was not just a brand building exercise but focused on internal tourism and adventure sports of the country too. We also wanted to do something worthwhile for the natives of the hidden Tibetan valley, so we did several community services on the way.
How much personal involvement did you have in it?
A lot. Dare Venture was a dream project. A project of this nature requires a lot of time, dedication and involvement. Organizing this event itself was very challenging and given the fact that right from fine tuning of the idea to the evaluation of every single registration was taken care of by HH Bajaj Marketing team it called for a lot of involvement. Being a part of every single detail of this project has given me a unique learning experience. Since the day the idea came in we were living every single moment for Dare Venture. This project is not just a dream project but for me and my team, it holds a strong emotional attachment too.
What do you think will be the response to this show on its debut?
The show is a big learning curve for us. We cannot deny the fact that the exposure to Indian channels is very high in Nepal and reality shows here have not been able to get a foothold. Pulsar Dare Venture being first ever bike reality show has its own challenges. It will not be practical to say that we expect the debut to be a smash hit because to make Nepali youth tune into the Nepali TV channel in itself is difficult. Though I am confident that episode after episode the quality as well as viewership of the show will grow. We will gradually pick up the pace to create the platform for better shows in the future.
What is the future of Bajaj Pulsar Dare Venture? Are you looking at more seasons?
We certainly plan to come up with more seasons, there are still a lot of unexplored beautiful terrains in the country and we want to give Pulsar riders several experiences of this kind. The future for Dare Venture as I see with two phases ( Screening & Ride) over and almost halfway through the third( Reality Show) is bright. We would like to take the learnings of this season into account and use these experiences to design better and bigger seasons in the future.
The response so far beckons more from Bajaj Pulsar Dare Venture. The terrain, the landscape, the perseverance of the riders, the tasks ahead, everything had meticulous planning go into it. There were roadblocks and obstacles that were passed but through all of it, the teams worked together and brought you the show that is on every Saturday 9pm on Kantipur TV. The Bajaj Team needs to be commended for bringing forth a concept like Dare Venture to fruition. It has taken a lot of resourcefulness to pull it off, but it all looks like it was worth it.