INDE Racing is going to come to India, says founder Abhishek Reddy

Abhishek shares his views in a chat with Sportstar on the sport and the efforts being made to make the sport more affordable and popular across all sections.

Published : Mar 20, 2024 13:09 IST , HYDERABAD - 6 MINS READ

INDE Racing founder K. Abhishek Reddy.
INDE Racing founder K. Abhishek Reddy. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

INDE Racing founder K. Abhishek Reddy. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

INDE Racing founder K. Abhishek Reddy, whose team was the first Indian team to secure a podium finish in the FIM Explorer World Cup 2024 this February, says the biggest challenge for them the major challenge in India is the lack of awareness, infrastructure, and rider pool that would help us compete and win globally.

Abhishek shares his views in a chat with Sportstar on the sport and the efforts being made to make the sport more affordable and popular across all sections.

Q: How did Inde Racing start? Inception. What made you own the team?

A: Carina Munte, one of the founders of Explorer reached out to me after she read my posts on LinkedIn about the importance of fan engagement. We discussed about my desire to create multiple avenues in sports for kids to pursue and how it is to grow up with options. At MotoGP Delhi, I realised that India with its 30 crore bikers does not have a team to represent them on the global stage and there was nothing for Indians to emotionally invest in motorcycle racing. That is when I wanted to change the narrative

Q: Your views on Sandra Gomez being the fastest female rider in Round 1 and INDE Racing securing a podium finish at FIM E-xplorer World Cup? What are you looking forward to from the second race in Norway in May?

A: Sandra is an amazing rider and has the grit of a world champion. Her previous year, she was on the MIE team that won the championship. When we got her board, we knew we had an amazing rider, but to go out there and dream of a win would mean that we beat the best in business, Honda had a 40-member team on site, with race directors and mechanics and the works. We had to create a support system for the riders to excel despite the odds, be it by ensuring they ride an extremely competitive bike to making sure the environment around them is conducive for the win.

Q: How is a Hyderabad-led organisation making waves globally through Inde Racing?

A: Even though I am a Hyderabadi and live and breathe the city vibes. We now have a wider mission to think of India first and to represent every part of India, and to take it along as we continue to dream big globally. The podium finish in our first-ever race has created a lot of interest and along with it expectations. We have a lot of catching up to do in global circles, we have to learn fast and we have the advantage of being agile and the new kid on the block, we will make mistakes on the way, but, the desire to make a mark on the global stage will take care of all the shortcomings.

Q: Inde Racing is India’s first global motorsports team. How do you plan to inspire a new generation of Indian riders who are extremely aspirational?

A: The most important role we would like to play is to minimise the gargantuan divide between global talent and us in India. Even with its sizeable population, a very negligible percentage of Indians are into motorsports. Let alone take it up as a career and have the resources to compete against the best in the world .

The Europeans and the Americans have decades of generational advantage over Indians, most take up the sport as soon as they learn to walk. It is integrated into their societies, and sponsorship flows accordingly. The change might not be immediate, but it has just begun. It is a generational investment we want to make into the sport, to request the government to create infrastructure, to nudge corporates to push for sponsorship, and to encourage parents to create a support system at home. These take time to produce results.

It might take a decade or more at least to become competitive and have enough of a pool of riders from India to compete globally but I would still not bet against India . We are known to leapfrog advancements that would have normally taken 3 or 4 decades only to compete with the rest of the world in a few years . It is a bold india now and our tagline for Inde is BoldlyIndian, which defines our belief.

Q: What are the kinds of efforts being made to make it more affordable and accessible?

A: At this point, our focus is to win a few races and create awareness within the country. It’s a long cycle, and only through awareness can we create the long-tail effect of making it more affordable and accessible. Our focus over the next couple of years will be to create a strong fan base and give our fans a great experience .

Q: What is the impact of these races across India, What are the major challenges and advantages?

A: Racing is a very human thing, it is an innate nature of humans to be competitive, thus pushing the possibilities of advancing the human race. Since we jumped onto horses, and chariots, or drove cars or bikes, racing had always been part of existence.

Most technological advances in the automobile industry can be traced back to the roots of racing, the desire to make machines faster, last longer, and use fewer resources was the driving force. The technologies then trickle down into our regular vehicles. I am hoping that the Indian EV and battery manufacturers can leverage the platform to collaborate and learn from pushing these machines to the extreme, and at the extreme limits of it is where we learn. Our major challenge is the lack of awareness, infrastructure, and a rider pool that would help us compete and win globally.

These races would help create a fan base for the sport , creating awareness and engagement which in turn brings sponsors to the sport and that brings in more funds to be used towards pushing better technology, building more sustainable alternative energy.

Q: What are the chances of hosting the race in India or in Hyderabad?

A: The race is definitely going to be coming to India towards the end of November. Hyderabad is one of the possible cities we would like to host. We are also looking at other cities, such as Goa, that have a great biking culture, and towards the end of November would be a great time every year for the bikers across the country to congregate. Delhi is also a great venue considering the pollution during that time of the year post-Diwali, it would send a strong signal to the rest of the world regarding our commitment to sustainability.

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