Samatbhai Jivabhai Bharawad (18) of the Maldhari community grazes his buffaloes at a proposed site for a Maruti Suzuki automobile plant near Hansalpur, about 110km from Ahmedabad in Gujarat. The Maldharis, who are nomadic herdmen, along with farmers from the region, have been opposing the plant on grounds that it is coming up on fertile farm and pastoral lands.
Shot on assignment for Capital magazine, Germany in March 2014.
BMW cars being sold from a tent? Capital, Germany’s oldest business publication, had commissioned me in September to shoot photographs for a story on German companies adapting innovative marketing strategies in India. When the brief came in, I found among other things, a BMW showroom in a tent in Rajkot, Gujarat. I went there imagining a typical red and blue patterned desi shamiana with people standing in a queue to buy cars.
What I found was quite the opposite. The mobile showroom was a swanky tent on the lawns of a hotel, complete with wooden flooring, air-conditioning and uniformed waiters offering water to potential customers. Rajkot, I was told, is an affluent town with a taste for expensive cars but the bosses at BMW thought it wasn’t a bright idea to open a showroom in Rajkot when there is one 220km away in Ahmedabad. The mobile showroom comes to Rajkot at fixed intervals, usually for a period of fifteen days and once a booking is made, cars are brought in from Ahmedabad for delivery.