Wearing a helmet to save yourself from any injuries while driving a bike on road is one thing, so is wearing a helmet while washing the windows of a skyrise, but wearing a helmet while chopping onions definitely seems to be an Indian invention. An invention which needs to be patented. We use helmets for everything, other than obviously protecting our head while riding a motorcycle.
India is a land of ‘jugaad’ and we always find ways to tweak rules for our comfort. Some reasons we give to the traffic police when we are stopped at a signal for not wearing a helmet are ‘sir, nimbu mirchi lagaya hai na aage, dekhlo’, ‘ My doctor said humidity is not good for my health’, ‘Sir, bas yahan pass mein hi ja raha hu’ and many more. Why do they force us to wear helmets on our head when there is so much already in our head to protect us? There are layers of ‘job insecurity’, ‘stressed love life’, ‘parental pressure’ and obviously the humid climate. Helmet sales were declining sharply until last month when a brand manager of a helmet company named ‘Brain Fade’ decided to tweak the logo.
‘Brain Fade’ was just another helmet company which had tried everything to increase its sale. In fact they were even selling their own version of duplicate helmets at a cheaper cost to attract customers. But all in vain. People were not sure if the helmets are strong enough to save their lives. Sanil Jain, the brand manager who has read every consumer insight report on helmets felt that the only way to sell helmets is to take help of some old traditions and blind faiths which are still very popular in our country. He decided to add the picture of ‘nimbu mirchi’, the quintessential safety ingredient for our tradition hungry people. Adding the picture came at a cost though, almost a rupee for every helmet, but then Sanil was pretty confident that it would work. In fact after having a look at the first helmet produced with this design, he was the first one to buy it, soon followed the other employees.
Currently ‘Brain fade’ is facing difficulty in keeping up with the demand. Everyone wants a piece of it. Even people who don’t own a motorcycle and who don’t have an intention of buying one. People are wearing this new helmet while driving a car. Traffic policemen were also seen wearing it.
Our faith and traditions are way stronger than the concepts covered in any marketing book. What else can help improve helmet sales? Do we need some incentives from the government? May be a ‘Helfie’ (Selfie with a helmet) competition, upload a ‘helfie’ on Facebook and get free college education. Or Rs 50,000 extra exemption as part of 80C deduction for salaried class if a scanned copy of helmet is shown that is notarized by a lawyer. May be the government can encourage the sale of subsidized helmets through the ration shops.
But all these measures will take time to get implemented if at all agreed upon. Till then the best incentive we have for using a helmet is safety of our lives. And that is what the ‘Helmet Saves’ campaign from Exide Life Insurance is all about. The campaign aims at educating every two wheeler rider in India on the importance of wearing a helmet. You need not worry about losing out on any other incentives as we will surely keep you posted about the latest developments.