From the sands of Marina
They cut the ribbon.
They flagged us off.
A great honor, indeed.
Who is this “they?”
The men and women are drawn from the logistics/supply chain and sports world.
Why did they come?
Where did they congregate?
Venue: Marina Beach, Chennai
Purpose: To support the mission of Ramesh & Company to sensitize the long-haul truck drivers about road safety, hygiene/sanitation and tech friendliness through their 300km-over three-day Cycle Yatra-1.
In light of the fifty-plus politician’s Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir in the form of padayatra recently, the cycle yatra for one-tenth of that distance is nothing to gloat over.
Yet, the task of sensitizing the weakest supply chain link, the long-haul truck drivers, was recognized as vital. After all, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s $ 5 trillion dream can only be realized with the help of the lowly truck drivers in this age of outsourcing. Make in India translates into moving raw materials to the factory and subsequently, ferrying finished goods to the market shelves by transport. No one will be carrying headloads! Right? Even if it is by rail, the First and Last Mile have to be by road only.
They drove in the early hours of January 30, 2023 — Monday, the first working day of the week, coinciding with the Death Anniversary of the Father of the Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi — to Marina beach.
Now, who are “they?”
1) S Ravichandran, Board Member, TVS Supply Chain
2) Prasad, Founder-CEO, Spaceage
3) Nagaraja Rao, (Retd) Ashok Leyland (Supply Chain)
4) Rangarajan, CEO, Maphy Toys
5) Ms. Selvi, Managing Director, Seenu Transport
6) Ms. Priyanka, Past National champion (Discus throw)
7) Devanand, Realtor
8) S Karthikeyan, (Retd) TVS
9) Sudhakar, Stemworks
10) Ramarajan, Ex FLEXOL
What magic Mukundan Seshadri did weave over the august gathering under the leaky sky opposite Wenlock Park to “bless” the threesome remains a mystery. Thanks, Mukundan!
Sure, the question was what the sports couple: the basketball coach (Devanand) and his spouse (Priyanka), the national discus throw champion, were doing at this ceremony. did arise.
Then it dawned that logistics/supply chain is ubiquitous. Omnipresent. Every act on planet earth can only happen with logistics/supply chain. No logistics. No livelihood. It is that critical. Therefore, the sports arena’s rishta with logistics/supply chain is indisputable.
The rest of the VIPs, mostly from the stable of TVS & Ashok Leyland, added weight to the event. Two of the reputed south-based Indian corporate entities with the logistics/supply chain domain — TVS Supply Chain & Ashok Leyland — made my heart go thuk-thuk, a la Madhuri Dixit.
How can one miss Selvi, the lady fleet-owning transporter who graced the occasion? Lady transporter Boss in the male-dominated transport vertical are a rarity.
Following self-introduction to the horseshoe formation gathering, they lauded the motive behind the Cycle Yatra and “blessed” us. Thanks, ladies and gentlemen!
The TVS Supply Chain honcho gently suggested that the ribbon-cutting protocol be handled by the two “nari shaktis” present at the venue! Truly, befitting the “nari shakti” narrative witnessed at the recent Republic Day parade in New Delhi less than a week ago.
Once they cut the ribbon, Mukundan threw a surprise. Out of the blue, he plumped a new double-driver pedallable cycle on the tarmac between the equally brand new non-motorized cycles purchased less than 24 hours ago at Decathlon, Chennai.
Symbolically, the veteran logistician cum philanthropist (read about his AUMM Clothes Foundation drive here … https://konsultramesh.medium.com/mukunda-mukunda-3959ee40d819) wanted to participate in the Cycle Yatra-1 from Chennai to Hosur. Yes, he beautifully fitted the “First Mile” category!
Now it was the turn of Ravichandran to flag off the Cycle Yatra.
While the threesome (Algor Supply Chain Solutions owner Virender Chaudhry, Syed Kausar Hussain, and self) did manage to arrange everything, they missed one essential item: the flag!
We, Indians, are innovative. Jugaad, yes! They quickly plucked the reflective orange road safety jacket to substitute the missing flag. Bingo!
Ravichandran did the rest. Amidst the leaky sky and clapping of hands, the cyclists (including Mukundan) pedaled into the busy early morning traffic on Marina beach road.
Mukundan would re-emerge three days and 270- 300km later at Krishnagiri — Soolagiri, to receive the threesome to complete the “cycle.” Yes, he was also a participant in the “Last Mile.”
More about the completion of Cycle Yatra-1, which was equally eventful at Hosur outside the spanky Ramraj showroom in another dispatch.
Meanwhile, thanks a ton ladies and gentlemen, for being physically present and blessing the cyclers!