Procam International has just embarked on turning Power-boating into a household name in India with Nexa P1 Powerboat, Indian Grand Prix of the Seas, and has a strong plan in place to soon turn the property into a major global event
BY SAMARPITA BANERJEE
It was in Barcelona about eight years back that Anil Singh, Managing Director, Procam International and Asif Rangoonwala, Chairman, P1 Global got talking about bringing powerboating to India. Fast forward eight years, Mumbai saw its first powerboating event, ‘NEXA P1 Powerboat, Indian Grand Prix of the Seas’.
Held at the panoramic Marine Drive, the first edition of the sporting event saw six different teams, comprising two P1 Panther powerboats each, manned with a pilot and a navigator fight it out across the 5.2km specially designed racetrack on the venue. Along with two Indian sportsmen, the teams had prominent P1 players from across the globe.
In addition to being the first edition of the tournament, the stock racing event, conceptualized by P1 Global and Procam International saw many other firsts. Explains Singh, “While there are a few national and regional tournaments happening in the global scene, this is for the first time that a motorboat tournament has been organized on such a big scale. And it’s a matter of great pride for us that the idea was seeded and launched in India. It was for the first time that a watersport had a designated track for the boats to race on.”
Another first for the tournament was the use of the ‘second screen’ to personalize and elevate the telecast experience. The second screen (a gamified graphics interface for the Live race on mobile phones) enabled anyone with an internet connected device to have real-time access to the gamified positions, telemetric race data and analytics in addition to the TV broadcast.
The tournament also saw a participation of a lot of brands that associated with the event. While Nexa was the title sponsor for the event, other sponsors included Trident Hotel, The Times of India, Radio Mirchi, Maersk, Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital, Nautica, Mahindra Marine and Sony ESPN. The six teams were sponsored by six brands including HVR, Lloyd, Baleno, MoneyOnMobile, Kingfisher Ultra and Radio Mirchi.
According to Singh, while brands were excited about the property, the government also showed keen interest in it. “India has around 7,600kms of coastline, 2,400 inland waterfronts, around 120 lakes and over 20 majestic rivers, which give us 10000kms of opportunity. It’s a big vision of the government as well and they are very keen on this. It’s the new way forward. It’s a trillion dollar opportunity we are opening up.”
Procam International has also put in place an elaborate plan to turn the sporting event into a global motorboating tournament with plans for holding a World Cup five years from now. Singh adds, “We have put in place a phenomenal global structure. We have conceptualised a World Cup and the Grand Prix of the seas along with continental, national and regional championships. While a few national and regional competitions are already happening across the globe, this was for the first time that the Grand Prix took place. The World Cup will happen once in every two years. We will be making the announcements in 2020 and it will eventually happen in 2022.”
So is India ready to host such events, in terms of infrastructure? “We have created the infrastructure. It’s a continuous process. The idea is to start showcasing what is needed. I am sure with time we will have the full infrastructure in place,” adds Singh.