In what can only be described as a fine example of Corporate Social Responsibility, Premium Indian rum brand Wild Tiger is making steady progress on its 65-day Roar Trip, which spans 25,000 kilometres and 25 countries.
The purpose of the trip, an initiative of the Wild Tiger Foundation, is to spread awareness, motivate action and raise funds for tiger conservation in Southern India.
The ‘Roar Crew’, comprising Gautom Menon, Founder and Brand Owner, Wild Tiger Rum and Paul George Vendanayagam, Creative Art Director, Wild Tiger Rum are travelling in an Indian vehicle (Tata Hexa).
Both crew members are connecting with locals to promote awareness and action through road-shows, instant pop-ups in public spaces, meetings with local media and press and interactions with wildlife enthusiasts.
Funds are being raised through donations and sales of Roar Trip merchandise, with all proceeds assisting on-ground wildlife conservation projects focussed in Southern India, home to some of the world’s most critical and sustainable tiger populations.
The journey itself begun in Parambikulam (Kerala) on 27 July and will end in Cannes on 29 September, the eve of the 2019 TFWA Exhibition and Conference.
An ambitious expedition to positively transform tiger conservation worldwide, the trip is being supported by organisations such as Tata Motors, Pirelli, Amaron, Taj Safaris, Skross, The Moodie Davitt Report, Crocodile, Dubai Duty Free, Concourse Display Management, Buckley London, JBL by Harmon Kardon, Harding Retail, Bravo Fashion, Cosper Distribution, Skyroam and Surgitiser.
Speaking before being flagged off from Kerala Menon said: “The planning for the drive started over a year ago. We are thrilled to have the support of these innovative yet responsible brands who have embraced our purpose. We aim to raise close to $100,000 in donations through the Roar trip campaigns efforts.”
At the time of writing, Menon and Vendanayagam were in Myanmar and had just visited the Indian Embassy, where they met Indian ambassador Shri Saurabh Kumar. Tomorrow (13 August) the pair will cross the border and enter Thailand where they plan to meet representatives of King Power International Group.
Reflecting on the trip so far, Menon told TRBusiness: “We have discovered a lot about North East India which is like the forgotten part. A lot of people don’t travel there and tend to visit places like Thailand and Bali instead. The North East of India is beautiful and has its own thing going on.”
Menon, who has met representatives from the likes of Dufry Bangalore and Hyderabad Duty Free, says the pair are still coming to terms with driving long distances on a daily basis. “Some days have been excruciatingly painful because of the roads. The worst of the roads are in India and Burma where they are still building a lot of the highways.”
Challenges aside, the voyage has been “a revelation” so far, according to Menon. “We are trying all the different cuisines, all the different drinks and being flagged off in every city. It is a journey, during which you keep meeting people, who connect you with others.”