Bharat Maheshwari, a bullock cart driver from the slums of Mumbai, has announced plans to build up his brand recognition in order to win market share. This will form the centrepiece of his second five-year growth strategy after the success of his first one enabled him to buy a 25% stake in the bullock itself.
‘This is a competitive market, with over 75,000 of us in Mumbai alone,’ Maheshwari explained to analysts, ‘and it’s very easy to see one man goading a bullock to pull goods to market by sticking a stave coated in chilli powder up its arse as much like any other. I am therefore exploring ways to differentiate myself through brand image.’
Rather than sell one of his daughters into prostitution in order to fund a big-bucks campaign through a major brand awareness firm, Maheshwari has opted for a bottom-up whispering campaign through multiple local media. This will begin with viral poster campaign featuring a silhouette of his cart and the logo ‘Not Just Any Old Bullocks’.
‘I’ve opted for English to appeal to the international market. You have to think big when it comes to establishing your identity and the joke doesn’t really translate into Marathi. None of my customers can read either language anyway,’ he explained.
In a second phase, as soon as he can afford the down-payment on a can of paint, the cart will be painted royal blue and red, the colours of Mumbai’s IPL team, and will tour the centre of town offering rides to children bringing home cowpats for the evening fire. If this raises enough awareness, the empire may soon expand to a second cart.
Long-term, Maheshwari hopes to be able to afford to win celebrity endorsement from the transvestite singers at a wedding he saw over the road a few weeks ago. ‘Sex sells, so I’m told,’ he remarked. ‘I wouldn’t know, personally, things were never the same with my wife after my mother accidentally dropped that lead weight on her in the kitchen for not bringing enough dowry with her.’