New Delhi, October 15, 2010: Sahara India Pariwar, the multi business conglomerate, which always stood for the country and is the leading promoter of sports in India, has been a major corporate contributor in the preparation and organising of XIX Commonwealth Games 2010. As a part of its services to the beloved nation and in order to shore up the image of the country at this critical time, Sahara has extended help to the games’ organising committee with it’s quality human resource, services spread across various functional areas, incentives for volunteers, investments in ‘guest delight’ initiatives including giveaways and events, etc. so the games are memorable to all the guests coming from across the world.
Shri Suresh Kalmadi, Chairman - Organising Committee, XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 while commenting on Sahara’s contribution said, “I convey my heartfelt thanks to Sahara India Pariwar not only for more than 300 dedicated senior workers who worked day and night, but also for the whole-hearted emotional and material support and the innovative initiatives, ideas and good thoughts which elevated the moral of the countrymen and gave boost to the image of the country in the eyes of 12000 foreign players and guests.”
He further said, “From Games Village to Airport and other important locations the support extended by Sahara India Pariwar has considerably helped athletes, delegates, officials and guests, playing a vital role in the organising of the games.” While praising the group he said that the group has considerably contributed in the promotion of sports in India. In addition to Cricket and Hockey, the group is playing an important role in promoting Indian wrestling, boxing, archery and shooting. The results are evident from the medal tally of Commonwealth Games.
At the time when the successful organising of games, was mired with scepticism, Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara took the initiative and committed himself along with the group to restore the nation’s pride at this critical time. His foremost thought was that a good experience is the best antidote to bad expectations and the brief given to the entire workforce was to do their utmost so as to ensure that each and every visitor and guest feels pampered and returns with an experience of a lifetime.
For Sahara, as termed by Saharasri and now endorsed by many leading personalities, the Commonwealth games are a national festival. Hence as an Indian, he took it as his duty to make it a success and bring glory to the nation at this time when India is in limelight for its rising position as a super power.
In addition to drumming up team spirit across the nation with inspiring messages, through media, outdoor, the group deployed more than 300 of its officials of the rank of Executive Directors, Deputy Directors, Assistant Directors, General Managers and senior and junior staff, for the games. The Sahara team lead by Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara started identifying gaps, undertook initiatives at its own end and made interventions in discussion with the organising committee to make the games experience seamless and pleasant. He personally visited all the venues and various locations concerned with the Commonwealth Games. The trained officials of Sahara from the Hospitality business and aviation were deployed at airport, railways stations, sports village, hotels and venues, so that a flawless support can be provided in catering the best experience to the guests coming from across the world for the games.
Mr. Roy recognised that the role of volunteers is selfless and also very critical for the success of the games. He even enrolled himself as a volunteer for the Games. To boost the draining morale of volunteers he himself addressed them and announced an incentive and award programme for them. Under the programme, Sahara will gift high-end mobile phones to 100 top performing volunteers. While for the next 200 and then below that for 300 best performances, Sahara will give Gift hampers/voucher worth of Rs. 5,000/- and Rs. 3,000/- respectively. In addition to this, Sahara has gifted wrist watches and will be providing two complementary tickets to the Protocol and CGA relations volunteers so that their parents can visit the stadium.
To support the XIX Commonwealth Games, Sahara India Pariwar, on behalf of the people of India, commissioned and especially recorded a song, ‘Ji Jaan Se’ by celebrity singer trio Shankar-Ehsan-Loy, Sonu Nigam and Saapna Mukherjee, captured it all in its pulsating beat and expansive mood. The video was played out on many prominent TV Channels. Sahara also came up with newspaper advertisements signed as ‘we the people of India’.
In order to portray a pleasant image of the nation complementing its growing position internationally, the group hired 71 Professional Models as Placard Bearers for the opening ceremony and Medal Bearers. This was done from the point of view that these images will repeatedly appear in front of the billions of TV viewers across the world, watching the games.
Personalized Metal Cards, a classy 164 page coffee table book on India, a high quality specially designed limited Edition Book cum-DVD on the Taj Mahal, a folder on India, an exhaustive sports Record Book, wrist watches, an elegant brooch with ‘pranam’ motif are some of the other gifts and presents generously given away by Sahara India. Each of these products has been conceived and designed in-house, and each is a collector’s item of no mean measure.
At Games Village, Sahara chose to orchestrate the different key aspects of the Games, such as accommodation, housekeeping, international arena, transportation facilitation and, significantly, protocol, Sahara India, led from the front by Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara, brought the touching warmth of her hospitality in everything. Mr. Roy personally toured the CWG Village, his keen eye for detail making subtle but critical changes to everything from the living room furniture to the washroom and leisure facilities of the Games Village. Within 48 hours flat, 1168 living accommodations were turned perfect – something that drew nods of appreciation from all quarters, such as His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Her Royal Highness Camilla Parker Bowles, the High Commissioners of various countries including sports ministers and India’s own political leaders. The group’s helpful, behind-the-scenes presence made sure that VVIP’s were received with the dignity of their office, that visitors – including teams from all 71 countries - were familiarized with the world class facilities, that accommodation & housekeeping went without a hitch, that regular reports were submitted to the Village Administration, that the busy schedule of the Mayor’s office and those of the Chef de Missions were deftly handled, that the training and international arenas were in top shape, and that the spirit of the Games was celebrated in the tone and tempo it deserves and commands. The Sahara Team members were present round-the-clock in the delegation registration meeting (DRM) area to meet and assist every team on arrival to the village. Ever since the games have begun, one dedicated team from Sahara is deputed at the transportation mall to co-ordinate the movement of players to the respective stadium and back, while its other teams are contributing at the International Arena, training area and residence centers.
Commenting on the involvement in the organising of the Games, Shri Subrata Roy Sahara - Managing Worker & Chairman, Sahara India Pariwar, said “I believe that everyone working together in a collective manner with emotional bondage for a cause, can only deliver great results to the full satisfaction of all including around 7000 Athletes, 3500 CGA Delegates, VVIPs, Foreign Dignitaries and around 2000 Journalists from across the world who are congregating for this great festival. All our initiatives are a small contribution in this direction only.”
“For Sahara as mentioned by Saharasri and now endorsed by many leading personalities, the Commonwealth games are the national festival. Hence as an Indian we have a duty to make it a success and all our efforts are to contribute at the best in bringing glory to the nation at this time when India is the point of attention among so many nations.” informs Shri Ahibijit Sarkar, Director Communications, Sahara India Pariwar who has been involved in the operations for the Games.
Apart from this, the group also organized and hosted the gala ‘Official Dinner of Commonwealth Games 2010’ at India Habitat Centre on 4th and 5th of October 2010. The Sahara officials made sure that the VVIP’s were received with the dignity of their office. The theme of the gala dinner was ‘Maharaja Royal’ and it was a place where international dignitaries, Commonwealth and International Olympic Association delegates, Ambassadors, High Commissions, players, artists, actors and famous personalities were ushered to an evening of song, dance and rare emotion by bejeweled ‘princesses’ from all regions of India. It was a night where camaraderie and curry came together to celebrate the glory of excellence not just in sports, but of life itself. The dinner was attended by around 4000 guests who came on two consecutive evenings. Adding to the shine and glitter of the occasion was the presence of Michael Fennell (President – Commonwealth Games Federation), Mike Hooper (C.E.O. – Commonwealth Games Federation), Senior CGA Officials of all the Commonwealth Countries, Foreign Dignitaries, including Heads of State, Leading Industrialists, Politicians, Bureaucrats, Sportspersons and Bollywood celebrities. Each guest was given a special return gift, comprising high quality hand painted marble plates with ‘meenakari’ and gold leafing packed in a specially fabricated silk jewelry box.
The entire gamut and canvass of the initiatives were proposed, implemented and funded by Sahara India Pariwar – the estimated cost of which had run upto a whopping Rs. 10 crores. But for a corporate that has always put emotion before economics, this was, more than anything else, a unique opportunity to share its message of Bharatiyata (universal Indian-ness) and its credo of teamwork with the world at large.