Tata Hexa Media Drives: What Happened Behind the Scenes?
19 January, 2017
Our flagship SUV, the Tata Hexa will hit the roads soon. This launch is very close to my heart. Unveiling it to the media in October last year, was my first major event after joining Tata Motors as the Head of Corporate Communications.
I bring to you some ‘behind the scenes’ moments:
My second week at Tata Motors: It is great to be back in familiar environments, working for a company I have always admired and enjoyed working with in the past. I realise that it’s the familiarity with the organisation, the people, the culture and my team that has made it easy to step into my role easily.
The Hexa media drives come up. I am obviously excited because media drives offer a great opportunity to put the car to test in front of the first set of external stakeholders. It gives you a sense of product acceptance and expected response before it actually goes out into the market.
Driving the Hexa: On a sunny October morning, I drive down the Mumbai-Pune expressway. My destination is our plant in Pune. I am visiting the plant as a part of the onboarding process and to take the Hexa for a test spin. I am impressed when I see the way the Hexa has been designed and loaded with features.
My first Hexa moment.
When I drive it for the first time, I am in for a bigger surprise. It is unlike any other Tata car I’ve ever driven. The thrill of the Hexa drive impresses me and I come away, confident that the Hexa will change the perception of Tata Motors as a company.
Sunday, October 16, early morning: I am on a flight to Hyderabad looking at the media confirmations for the event the next day, while sipping a cup of coffee. The number is at 130. I reflect on the amount of hard work the teams have put in planning the event. I also look forward to the chance to meet my friends from the media, who I have known and worked closely with, over the years.
Sunday, October 16, night: We are gathered around the dinner table at the Novotel, Hyderabad, chalking out roles and responsibilities for the event that kicks off the next day.
One big team, one big goal: making the Hexa drives successful.
We underline three key objectives. One, to ensure that every member of the media fraternity gets the opportunity to experience the manual and automatic variants of the Hexa. Two, make sure they soak in the Hexa off-road experience. Three, ensure that the messaging is aligned with the larger interests of the organisation and comes from the senior management to the media, after all Hexa is our flagship SUV.
Monday, October 17, morning: Its early morning. A gigantic container pulls up near the hotel gate and offloads the 20 Hexa cars. The cars are arranged in two rows. It’s a sight that’s hard to forget. 20 majestic Hexas standing tall, gleaming in the rays of the rising sun.
Standing tall, ready to rewrite the dynamics of the SUV segment.
Monday, October 17, afternoon: Media starts arriving. After a round of warm handshakes, hugs, smiles and laughs, my old friends from the media register themselves, picking up the Hexa wrist bands and badges. An elaborate lunch follows and then the media gets into interviewing the senior leaders at Tata Motors.
It’s going to be an adrenaline pumping experience.
Monday, October 17, evening: I am the emcee for the night. I’ve moderated many high-profile events in my career, but for the first ten seconds, there’s a lot of nervous energy perhaps because it’s my first major event as Head of Communications at Tata Motors. As soon as I am on the stage, excitement takes over. There are familiar faces out there in the crowd—all my media friends—waiting for the Hexa to be unveiled.
Senior leaders from the management team make some electrifying presentations to the media. I am happy to notice the warm reception the Hexa gets. The unveiling is followed by a thrilling musical performance by the singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, Raghav Sachar.
Kicking off the #HexaExperience
Oct 18th- 21st: The four days that follow, spike up our adrenaline levels, much like what the Hexa promises to offer.
We burn the midnight oil and are up before dawn, briefing the teams for the flag-offs at 6:30 am in the morning and managing the overall experience of the event.
Stepping into the Hexciting zone of possibilities.
I am on a high throughout the event. Perhaps it’s the fact that Tata Motors is reinventing its presence in the passenger vehicle category with a product like the Hexa, or perhaps because there’s so much enthusiasm and excitement all around me. As the event draws to a close, the media shares its positive views on the Hexa, making a special mention of the 30-minute off-roading experience, which is the biggest takeaway for me too.
Positive buzz for the Tata Hexa
When I look back, I think we’ve achieved quite a lot of what we had set out to achieve. The way the reports and reviews came out have really benefitted the brand. Most of the media has been equivocally supportive and have come out giving encouraging feedback on the car.
I am delighted that from October till about the third week of December, we’ve got a lot of encouraging feedback that’s added to the positive buzz around the Hexa and that augurs well for the company.
To me, it looks like that as an organisation, Tata Motors has got something really right with the Hexa, and it will only drive us ahead to the future.
Catch glimpses of the Hexa media drives here:
- Suresh Rangarajan, Head of Corporate Communications, Tata Motors