In this endeavor, Tata Motors, India's largest truck maker will join hands with NGO, quasi-government institutions, training institutes and distributors to train drivers.
Tata Motors said that the country, India, has a high-fatality rate and is the second-worst in the world in terms of truck accidents. As of today there are nearly 5 million truckers in the country.
As per industry estimates, around 2 million drivers would be needed from 2014. Even if 50% of this demand is adjusted because of fleet replacement, there should still be a demand of 1 million drivers.
Considering that only 20,000 drivers are produced every year by all ITIs put together, that"s barely enough to meet the future demands.
Tata Motors expects the move to help plug the void and spur sales growth for truck makers like itself. Its initiative alone will churn out 3.4 million drivers over the next ten years.
The first pilot for the project is due to begin at Jabalpur this month, followed by one at Ujjain.
Currently Ashok Leyland and Volvo also have such facilities for training drivers. Ashok Leyland, in fact, has a large driving track near Ennore where it trains truck drivers. But these are small efforts yet, based in single locations. Tata motors intend scale this up by opening at least 10 centers by the end of this year.
VIEW: In many ways, the Tata Motors will be taking a leaf out of the books of IT companies, Microsoft has its own certified courses, same goes for Sun (for Java), Oracle (database courses and even the Oracle University), Cisco (router education) and IBM (DB2 and AIX courses).
If this program becomes successful and it helps sales as well, it will definitely be a game changer.