Red Bull's Tuk It is a popular racing event in Sri Lanka, where Tuk Tuk drivers overcome various challenges over a 48-hour rally to emerge a winner. Teams of 3 in their three-wheeled auto-rickshaw (as it's called in India) start their journey from the Western part of Sri Lanka, progressing into the Central Hills which passes through mountains, jungles and culturally important heritage sites. Sounds exciting? Well, have you been on an auto ride in India? If yes then you're not missing out on much, except our brave, fast-paced, furious auto drivers don't get a trophy at the end of the journey nor they go home happy with a bag full of case.
Red Bull rewards Tuk It winners approximately Rs 4 lakh prize money. We spoke to some auto drivers in Bengaluru and found that's equivalent to their annual wage. So, if Red Bull held its Tuk It event in India, at least one winning team can go months without having to worry about their daily wages.
In this article, we list some reasons why Red Bull should seriously consider hosting its Tuk It event in India.
Participants will jump at the first chance
The two-day event in Sri Lanka attracts some 200 teams, which is over 600 participants. However, India has no shortage of auto drivers, who do this for a living. In fact, their talent to hustle through the day, going places where it's hard to reach in a car, zipping through the traffic, the close-calls and such make many auto rickshaw drivers in India ready for the race.
IBTimes showed some videos of Tuk It event to auto drivers in Bengaluru and many were fascinated by it.
"For that much money, I would easily do this every month," said one Mukhtiyaar Pasha, who has been driving his own auto rickshaw for 11 years. "Every day is a race for us auto drivers. Sometimes, the customer wants to rush, sometimes we have to so we can fulfill our commitments." (translated)
"We know auto drivers have a bad reputation of being rash drivers. A platform like this will allow us to show our skills. Some of us have been driving auto rickshaws all our life, and you get so good at it, it comes naturally to us." another auto driver by the name Surya T told IBTimes.
India landscapes are to die for
India is a land stunning landscapes. Mountains, forests, waterfalls, oceans, beaches, deserts, it has got it all. Red Bull could pick any point, from busy narrow streets in Old Delhi to forest paths in Bandipur to ghats of Assam in North East or Ooty in the South. Just put a pin on the map and Red Bull can have a spot of its liking.
India has got everything from "mountains, jungles and culturally important heritage sites" as Red Bull says in its Tuk It Sri Lanka race even page.
Many Indians can vouch for it
If it is any consolation, Indians who often take auto-rickshaw rides to go from one place to another can vouch for the auto drivers' racing gene. There may be mixed feelings about the auto-drivers' talent in the country, but many agree how boarding a rickshaw is nothing short of a roller coaster ride. The lockdowns in the country might have eased on the traffic and the number of rickshaws plying on the roads, but it's hard to forget how rickshaw drivers manage to find the fastest route, even in traffic jams, showing their talent and comfort with their three-wheeled vehicle.
Red Bull is already a popular brand name in India. Many associate energy drinks to Red Bull than any other brand. After all the famous tag line "Red Bull gives you wings" and the quirky ads have a memorable place in people's memory. Red Bull could play on its strengths and its strong brand presence in India to add yet another feather to its achievement hat by hosting the Tuk It race event in the country and possibly give wings to auto-rickshaw drivers' dreams.
Not to mention, the precious space on the back of autos often used for advertising brands, can serve as a great branding opportunity for Red Bull in India.