Across the Sahara Desert on Kinetic Honda scooter. Chapter 3

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How to sell a product?

By media hype of course! But what are you going to hype? You have to ACHiEVE something, DO something extra-ordinary, or HAVE something extra-ordinary which people ASPiRE to, which can be hyped, which whets people's desires, resulting in sales and deliver profits=munny! Why did Austria (in Europe) born Arnold Shivajinagar (==Schwarzenegger) become governor of California in USA? Bcoz he was Mr. Universe for many years which was hyped as hero in many Hollywood movies and he made much munny. He had (and still has) a body which every human male aspires to have and every human female wants to mate with as per Law of Nature. This was proved in Arnold Schwarznegger’s first movie: CONAN THE BARBARiAN ! That is his USP=Unique Selling Proposition. Why did the Indian Reality TV Show Bigg Boss pay Pamela Anderson five million dollars to appear on the show? Bcoz she has the ultimate body every human female aspires to have and every male aspires to mate with, which was hyped in the TV show BAYWATCH.

Thus it was Adil Jal Darukhanawala who sold the idea to Honda Motor Co that a team of Indians do a world record event on an Indian Made Japanese Scooter, which could be hyped in Nigeria to boost the sales of Kinetic Honda scooter in Nigeria.

WHY ME? I have to thank Adil Jal Darukhanawala, the then (1991) Editor of Car & Bike magazine for giving me the chance to risk my life in this foolhardy venture. I also have to thank Honda Motor Co. & Kinetic for thinking up this crazy idea for media hype.

PREPARATiONs? I am sure you have heard of Michelin Tyres. What you definitely don’t know and probably don’t even NEED to know (bkoz of google earth / google maps and udder googlifications, mobile phone, GPS, SatNav etc.) is that in those days Michelin used to print the best and most detailed hard copy maps of the various cunt rees of the SAHARA desert.

Honda Motor Co. gave us the best possible and latest large scale hard copy maps of the Sahara Desert that I have ever seen. I am the greatest Geographist in the world and my then boss Adil Jal Daurkhanawala gave me the maps and asked me to make out our route plan and schedule to be submitted to Mr. Shigeo Hirose, who was Managing Direktur of Kinetic Honda Motor Ltd. at that time in 1991==22 years ago.

We were a team of six men, two Kinetic Honda Scooters and one Mercedes Glendwagen GD240 Jeep, which was kindly lent to us for the purpose by Mr. Abhay Firodia, who is currently Chairman of Force Motors (earlier Bajaj Tempo Ltd - the creator of the ubiquitous Tempo, the only light goods carrier allowed to be produced in India during the restrictive days of popat idio0tic nehruvian socialism). Four of us (inklooding me) were to take turns at riding the scooters 6000 km across the WORLD's LARGEST SAHARA DESERT, which is three times the land area of the whole of Hindoostan (==Hindustan==India==Bharat).


At 44, I was the oldest of the team. There were four KiHo riders. The  youngest was a lad of just 16 or so it was claimed, not that it mattered. Plus there were two other riders: 0ne was 25 and another 34. . The fifth guy was to be the driver of the Jeep. The sixth guy, who spoke French, was to be the interpreter since nobody in the Francophone (formerly ruled by France) countries which we had to traverse through, speaks English. They either speak Arabic or French, which none of us except the interpreter spoke.

The Jeep, the two scooters (absolutely stock – no modifikations whatsoever), tools and some spare parts were put into a container and shipped by sea to Casablanca in Morocco, a country at the North-Western tip of the African Continent, about 9000 km west of India. The official name of Morocco is El Maroc.

FiNANCE? An expedition like this costs plenty of munny. But in those days of nehruvian popat socialism, getting DOLLARs for such a crazy & foolhardy idea was impossible. Today's Gen-Y in India just cannot comprehend this situation. Today Bigg Boss can pay five million dollars to Pamela Anderson for her assets & OoO0OMPH, but in those days you could not get even five dollars to buy life saving drugs for your dying father, and if the authorities could find even one dollar in your pocket or your home, you could be thrown in jail for seven years. That's what the LAW was (which is an ASS anyway) in those days of popat nehruvian socialism. Obviously Kinetic India would not be allowed by Bharat Sarkar (==Govt. of India) to pay, even if it could afford or wanted to. So the tab was picked up by Honda Motor Co of Japan. And I must thank Honda Motor Co. They provided for us very well.

ROUTE? The route we had to take was to start from Casablanca: Ride east 0ne thousand km along the Mediterranean coast to Algiers (locally known as Alger), the capital of Algeria, also on the Mediterranean coast. From Algiers on the Mediterranean coast make a 90-degree right turn and ride due south across three countries of the SAHARA DESERT: Algeria, Republic of Niger and Nigeria, into the Nigerian capital of Lagos on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

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