Here’s what stumped Dhoni — and bowled him over!

Murali Gopalan Mumbai | Updated on January 10, 2018

Multix, Eicher Polaris’ passenger utility vehicle

After a false start in 2015, the Multix now has many celebrity admirers

When MS Dhoni took the Indian cricketers for a spin after the recent one-day series against Sri Lanka, it was not in a fancy Audi or BMW, but in an unconventional four-wheeler.

The Multix was awarded to India’s ‘Man of the Series’ Jasprit Bumrah, for his bowling performance, but it was Dhoni who was extra keen on taking the first drive.

“They loved the vehicle and thought it was cute and beautiful,” says Pankaj Dubey, CEO of Eicher Polaris, the manufacturer of the Multix.

In fact, a host of celebrities are keen on owning a Multix. One of them is actor R Madhavan. “He says he is keen on using the Multix for his farmhouse in Tamil Nadu,” says Dubey. Sri Lankan cricketing great Aravinda de Silva was also taken with the vehicle during the current series.

Given that Sri Lanka is on Eicher Polaris’ radar — the island is the company’s next overseas market after Bangladesh and Nepal — it will only be a matter of time before de Silva gets to drive a Multix around Colombo.

The vehicle was a permanent fixture during the recent India-Sri Lanka Tests and one-dayers, taking over from the conventional trolley during the drinks interval.

The Eicher Polaris team plans to leverage the momentum from the cricket series to push sales of the Multix.

“It was my belief that we needed a big bang approach to taking the Multix to the next level. After all, there was only so much that we could achieve through setting up showrooms and so on,” Dubey says.

This is when an opportunity came knocking in the form of the cricket series in Sri Lanka.

Yet, Dubey had to face some headwinds within the organisation with some not in favour of using the cricketing stage for the Multix. “They were sceptical and wondered if this would work. Today, they are ecstatic that the strategy succeeded,” he says. The Multix is a “3-in-1” passenger utility vehicle that doubles up as a pick-up and generator. So while it may not be glamorous, the Multix is still stylish and comfortable.

At the time of its launch in 2015, the vehicle’s target was the independent businessman in India’s towns and villages. This target group was perceived to be sizeable in number, but things did not go according to plan.

Eicher Polaris then decided to move the Multix to cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad, which have a far more diverse user base for mobility, right from start-ups to laundry services.

Dubey is now keen on taking the story forward for the entire Polaris range — its all-terrain vehicles and Indian motorcycle to, of course, the Multix.

You could think of it as the start of a new inning.

Published on September 07, 2017

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