Story by:

Bhushan Mhapralkar

The high decibel Tata Prima T1 Truck Racing Championship under the aegis of FIA may have gone into hibernation, the cause of truck drivers remains high on the agenda at Tata Motors. The CV major held a photo contest called ‘Photo OK please’ during the 2019 financial year. The inaugural edition of the contest saw the participation of Tata dealers and various other company interfaces in an effort to reach out to the trucking community. To encourage digital engagement with the truck drivers, Tata Motors ran the photography campaign such that 5500 drivers registered. More than 13000 photo entries were received across 21 cities. Ferrying cargo across the vast country, the drivers of Tata trucks were tutored to explore their role as wanderers. They were also encouraged to capture the unseen and the unheard expanses of the country by taking an opportunity to share them and their experience with the rest of the world. The ‘Photo OK please’ contest saw entries swell to 23,000 pictures by the time it came to a close.

Truck drivers were encouraged to submit pictures on WhatsApp. Much to the amazement of the organisers and conductors of the contest, they received pictures every day. Drivers also uploaded the pictures to their Instagram account and tagged @tata.trucks. The year-long campaign that began on April 01, 2019, saw Tata Motors declare different daily winners from the participating locations. The daily winners went on to participate at the next level, which would get one of them to be declared as the ‘Winner of the Week’. Eligible for grand prizes, the drivers honed their skills by capturing some very interesting frames. Most used their smart phones to do so, reflecting their penchant for accessing new technology and staying in tune with the times. If any attempt at plagiarism was thwarted, the drivers trained to indulge in the right practices to be eligible. A multi-lingual website was created for the purpose. It was used for registrations, tips, announcement of winners, etc. Social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp were leveraged to a great extent to reach out.

The pictures sent by the drivers were compiled into three categories – mountains, sunrise and sunsets, and trucks. All the pictures were eligible for the general category. Judged across four categories, the contest ended on March 30, 2019. Soon after, a jury consisting of eminent personalities like Piyush Pandey, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy Worldwide, Raj Nayak, Former COO, Viacom Media, Nisha Jamwal – Celebrity Columnist, Interiors Architect & Luxury Consultant, and Anant Rangaswami – Editor, Melt- WION, met in Mumbai to pick up the top three winners. Each jury member had the tough task of going through 109 pictures shortlisted. Jeetu Rajput was declared the winner for a picture that he clicked of a truck passing under a short tunnel carved out of mountain side at Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh. Satish was declared the second winner for a beautiful picture of a rocky beach at Kaup Beach in Karnataka. Rajesh was declared the third winner for an attractive picture of snow studded mountains. Santosh Jiribam of Manipur found a special mention for a picture he clicked of a truck passing over a suspension bridge.

Nagesh found a special mention for the picture he clicked of a rocky beachside near Mangaluru with surfing waves lashing the shore. Ramesh found a special mention for a picture he clicked of the long Rajendra bridge over the river Ganga, partially hidden by dense fog. Padmabha found a special mention for a picture he clicked of a sunflower field. Chandra Singh Churu found a special mention for a picture he clicked of a desert countryside with a lone tree in the near field. Mintu Sultan found a special mention for a picture he clicked of a convoy of truck along a narrow road by the mountainside in the Himalayas. Momir Ali found a special mention for a picture he clicked of a truck traveling on a suspension bridge in Arunachal Pradesh. Vinod Sharma found a special mention for a picture he clicked of a deep valley in Himachal Pradesh. Ashish of Kalyan, Maharashtra, found a special mention for a picture he clicked of the sun behind a tree, shadowed almost by the clouds. Bitu Gogoi of Cherrapunji found a special mention for a picture he clicked of a lone tree standing on the edge of a picturesque valley.

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