Lucas Di Grassi was surprised at the scale of Mahindra Group as a brand across the globe. The ex-Formula E champion claims he was surprised to see the Indian brand’s presence in his home country Brazil.
Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda in Rome, Lucas di Grassi said:
“I mean Mahindra is huge in India right and people know the brand. People don't know the brand so much outside of India, of the size it is. Like Mahindra is huge, other brands like Tata and other ones are more known because they do business outside. But Tech Mahindra is in many countries, for example in Brazil. There was like Tech Mahindra’s huge office, thousand people and I had never heard of it."
"So I didn’t even know Tech Mahindra was in Brazil, I was positively surprised when I went to the office. It was a huge, very nice office, people were very supportive and they are very behind us. So this relationship you kind of have to explain to people what Mahindra is. It is such an important, its such a big brand. I think Formula E is helping to bring this image of Mahindra outside of India in a positive way."
"Because it is electric, its forward thinking and Mahindra is doing now more electric cars, trying to expand to different markets. So I think its a great manufacturer. Anand Mahindra himself is supporting us, so its great to have the manufacturer here.”
Surprised at the magnitude of the Mahindra brand, Lucas Di Grassi revealed the moment he discovered the presence of the Tech Mahindra office in Brazil. The former FE champion believes very little is known about the Mahindra brand outside India and Formula E has boosted its presence in the global market. The expansion of the Indian conglomerate to newer markets in the electric vehicle sector is being boosted by its presence in FE.
The Mahindra Racing driver felt his team brand was lesser known than companies like Tata which had a more prominent presence overseas, but his visit to the office in Brazil surprised him. The Brazilian driver felt group CEO Anand Mahindra’s personal support to the team is a great boost for the team’s morale and is a testimony of its genuine interest in FE.
Lucas Di Grassi feels Mahindra Racing needs more support from India in the future
Lucas Di Grassi was surprised to not witness a larger following on social media given the magnitude of the Indian population. Given the number of events Mahindra organized at the Hyderabad ePrix, the Brazilian driver was surprised that their following had not crossed the million mark on their social media handles.
He believes the Hyderabad FE race could be the first step to boost their following gradually but he hopes to see more sponsors and partners from other Indian corporate brands in the future.
Asked by Sportskeeda if he was overwhelmed with the support Mahindra Racing received on home ground, Lucas Di Grassi replied:
“I think it’s still small. If you look at the size of India, I think we should have millions of followers in social media. We have hundreds of thousands but we should have millions because we are the only Indian team competing at a high level of motorsport. And we have an Indian driver now. Jehan is doing the free practice, so I would expect even more support. I was very surprised when we raced there."
"Maybe it’s just the first step towards getting more and more support. So India is the country of the future, the growth, the level, the top CEOs of the world are Indian. There is so much to get from this relationship. Also more Indian companies, I’m very surprised that we don't have in the car, more Indian companies as our partners, our sponsors. So many important companies around, we have some support but we should have more.”
Despite an Indian driver Jehan Daruvala as a reserve, Lucas Di Grassi feels Mahindra Racing needs more commercial and social support from India. The Indian FE racing team was founded in 2014 and has been the only genuine Indian presence in motorsport at a global level, since Force India’s departure from F1. Apart from Mahindra’s home brands, the team does not have many Indian sponsors or partnerships yet.