270,000 SMEs register on Vodafone Drive into the Big League – II

Vodafone India Ltd., one of India’s leading telecommunications service providers, has received over 270,000 entries from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across India, for the second season of Vodafone ‘Drive into the Big League’ program.

The ‘Vodafone India Drive into the Big League –II’ contest is a one-of-its-kind initiative exclusively for SMEs (enterprises with turnover between INR 10 crores and INR 250 crores) in India, to win a once in a business’ life-time opportunity of having their company logo placed on the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes cars that will race in the second season of Indian Grand Prix, slated for October 26-28, 2012.

The announcement of call for entries for this contest was made in the last week of July 2012. By closing hours on Thursday, 30th August, the Vodafone Drive into the Big League –II campaign had crossed more than 270,000 entries from SMEs across multiple locations in India. Last year, the first season of Vodafone Drive into Big League received 80,000 entries.

Entries to Vodafone Drive into the Big League –II have come in from cities and towns across all states viz Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, J&K, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, Karnataka, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh among others. Majority of the responses has been received from enterprises in the manufacturing sector followed by wholesale and retail trade.

In the Build-up to the Grand Finale, the fastest growing enterprises over the last 2 – 3 years will be shortlisted from these entries for the qualifying rounds that will be held from Sept 7-13, 2012.

The qualifying rounds for Vodafone Drive into Big League –II will be held across 10 locations in India, viz. Chandigarh (Sept 7), Pune (Sept 7), Kolkata (Sept 8), Delhi (Sept 8), Ahmedabad (Sept 10), Mangalore (Sept 10), Bhubaneswar (Sept 11), Vishakhapatnam (Sept 12), Lucknow (Sept 12) and Coimbatore (Sept 13).

Around 5-7 shortlisted participants will be competing in each of the city qualifiers. After another round of selection adjudged by a panel of Vodafone officials and expert jury, two winners from each venue will be then selected to be the part of Grand finale.

For the Grand Finale, 20 winners from the city qualifying rounds and the wild card winner (one enterprise that has made effective use of technology as a key driver for growth will be chosen from an independent contest that is being carried out on social networking site –www.linkedin.com) will then debate on a reality show on a leading business channel all through September/October 2012 for the coveted spot. In an 8 part reality television series, the final winner will be selected by an expert jury who will evaluate the finalists providing them with real situations that each of their businesses could face and how they would work around those situations.

Vodafone Group Plc. being a ‘Title sponsor’ and ‘Total communications partner’ for McLaren Racing, one of the best racing teams in the world; Vodafone in India had the opportunity to select any SME to give them the chance to put their brand on the race cars during the race in India. Instead of randomly choosing a winner, Vodafone India chose to select a more deserving winner by putting together a reality show on National Television.

The response has been overwhelming; 80,000 registrations last year along with being adjudged one of the best uses of sponsorship at the Asian Marketing Effectiveness Awards and Abby Awards for creativity of the promotion campaign.

The winner company gets to expose its brand to over 25-50 million TV viewers across the globe, which is estimated to be global brand exposure worth over €100,000. Last year we saw ABC Consultants take the coveted spot, this year another enterprising brand will take the spot.

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