FADA @ 50

Dear friends,

It gives me pleasure and a sense of satisfaction to inform that FADA’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations event held on April 17, 2015 at Hotel Taj Lands End, Mumbai - was a day well spent. The Event was a tremendous success – be it in participation, the impeccable arrangements or the grandeur.

The fact that the Event was well attended by a wide spectrum of participants representing the Government, the industry, the allied businesses and my fellow dealers from across the country goes on to show the importance of auto retail in the entire value chain. 

The Golden Jubilee Celebrations Event was special as it not only tracked FADA’s 50 year journey and that of auto retail but it recognized the pioneers and game changers in automotive sector, including doyens of auto industry and auto retail business. The other highlights of the event included the release of the Coffee Table Book, an informal panel discussion & Automotive Dealerships Excellence Awards (ADEA).

Understanding that the retail automobile business having gone through crisis in the past required managerial acumen and digital re-imagination to retain an edge in this highly competitive and technological savvy era, FADA addressed this by holding two sessions in the afternoon of 17th April 2015, to help dealers understand the way forward.

The session by Radhakrishna Pillai, Author & Founder Director of Chanakya Institute of Public Leadership (CIPL), on Managing Crisis The Chanayka Way emphasized on Chanayka Niti & things one should be doing to cross the bridge in difficult times like:  documenting all the processes and learning’s; to remain positive; introspection; to seek out the right person with relevant experience and ask the right questions to overcome a situation or challenge; do SWOT analysis of self and of competitor; and critically look at the financials and take corrective actions.

While the 2nd session on Driving Growth in Digital Marketplace by Jagdish Mitra, Chief Strategy Officer, Tech Mahindra stressed on the importance of digital world and impact of it on our environment and how to embrace digital in various facets of our business; on changes that are happening around us and its impact on customers and on their expectations; the importance of data analysis.

The feedback has been that dealer friends found these sessions to be both interesting and useful.

The celebrations in the evening kick started by a scintillating Light & Sound performance by Illuminati chronicling FADA’s inception in 1964, to its contribution to auto retail business, the various initiatives, research, training and studies  undertaken by FADA in association with other agencies/ institutes, its alliance with global auto retail bodies and its efforts in strengthening Voice of Dealer. This not only raised everyone’s spirits but set the tone for the evening. 

Rajiv Sabharwal, Executive Director, ICICI Bank while presenting the forward for FADA’s 50 year Journey and auto retail trade agreed with me that the Golden Age was definitely in front and wished that it continued forever. He emphatically appreciated and thanked the dealer fraternity for the important role played by them in the country’s progress and stated that the ICICI bank would travel with FADA in this journey, be it bad or good times. He also stressed upon digitalization, and social networking as the way forward for dealerships to increase their visibility and footfalls in their dealerships.

Vinod K Dasari, MD, Ashok Leyland also congratulated FADA for celebrating its Golden Jubilee and emphasized on the importance of Manufacture – Dealer relationship. He emphasized on the important role played by the dealer and added that dealer network was the soul of the economy. Infact, Dasari added that in the next 5 years auto industry would be witnessing major changes in technology especially in passenger and commercial vehicles - engines, emission norms, crash protection and enhancement capabilities. Going forward OEMs would be increasingly dependent on dealers for their inputs in bringing about new models pertaining to customers ever changing needs and choices.

Another ceremony dovetailed with the Golden Jubilee Celebrations event was the sixth edition of the Automotive Dealership Excellence Awards. ADEA 2014 was organized by Overdrive in partnership with FADA to recognize best dealerships and dealership practices. This time the dealerships received special awards for Marketing Initiative, Employee Engagement initiative and Women’s Empowerment initiative of the year. Let me reiterate that automobile dealers, were adjudged by an independent jury of eminent persons on various parameters of dealership management

I am happy to share with you that ADEA 2014 had an overwhelming response with Overdrive touching over 70,000 consumers and nominations received from over 4,000 dealers. Congratulations to my dealer friends who emerged winners for ADEA 2014.  I hope, my fellow dealers who did not send in their nominations this time will stand up and be counted when the awards for the next year are announced.

The presence of Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India signified the importance Auto retail holds in the eyes of Government. We also had distinguished members from Auto Principals to share our joy on this wonderful occasion.

I am indebted to all our sponsors without whom it would not have been possible for us to organize the Golden Jubilee Celebrations event on such a grand scale. My sincere thanks and gratitude to ICICI Bank, Mahindra Rise, Mobil, Ashok Leyland, the New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance, Sikkens AkzoNobel, Care ratings; Sula Vineyards, Ravish Kapoor, and Pinnacle.

I am grateful to the dealers representing dealerships over 50 years for being present at this celebration. It surely was inspiring for the members present. It only shows that the business of Auto retail is a long term and rewarding business.

I am also thankful to the team of Network 18, especially Bertrand Dsouza and Sudhanva Jategoankar for their untiring efforts and hard work in initiating and giving shape to the Golden Jubilee Celebrations event and the 6th edition of Autmotive Dealership Excellence Awards culminating in a gala function.  I acknowledge with thanks the invaluable time and contribution of our jury for the awards.

Above all, my profound thanks and appreciation for all the hard work put in by Vinay Nevatia, Chairman, Golden Jubilee Celebration event committee to put in place the entire programme, logistics and excellent arrangements to make the Golden Jubilee Celebrations & the 6th ADEA 2014 a huge success.

My profound thanks are also due to our Past Presidents and my colleagues in FADA Council, especially Mr K P Jhunjhunwala; Mr Vinay Nevatia; Mr Ajit Chordia; Mr Binod Agarwal; Mr Deshnidhi Kasliwal; Mr Arun Sanghi; Mr Rakesh Jain; Mr Kailash Gupta; Mr Ramesh Suri; Mr Bharat M Sanghi; Mr Nikunj Sanghi; Mr Mohan Himatsingka, who extended their unstinted support.

Last and not the least, I acknowledge with thanks the support of members of automobile dealer fraternity from across the country for their participation in a big way.

With best wishes,

K V S Prakash Rao




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