AB Group’s Driver Training Academy opened at Motorzone
A Professional Driver Training Academy (PDTA) was inaugurated by Dr. T. Prabhakara Rao, Principal Secretary & Transport Commissioner, Tamil Nadu, at Motorzone of the AB Group on June 23. The inauguration was followed by the opening of the Wheels India – Air Suspension Authorised Service Centre (ASC) by Mr. P. Sundararaman, General Manager, Air Suspension Division of the company, and a new paint booth facility by Mr. Rahul Awasthi, Regional Manager (South), and Sri Lanka, DuPont Performance Coatings, at the location.
PDTA is the outcome of the vision of Mr. A. Afzal, Chariman & Managing Director, AB Group, to establish a renowned driver training and placement academy in the country. “Our mission is to create young, educated, safe and skilled drivers by imparting knowledge to them in advanced vehicles and also to build a safe society of responsible drivers in the community. Our initial goal is to create and deploy 1,500 drivers this year”, he said.
With excellent simulator driving facilities, workshops and training aids, the training syllabus has been designed in such a way that the drivers would be exposed to all the rules and regulations of driving, covering all aspects of safe and efficient driving. The academy offers different types of courses catering to the various requirements of drivers and also has a tie-up with the Institute of Road Transport (IRT), Gummidipoondi, for driving range.
Addressing the gathering, the chief guest, Dr. Prabhakara Rao said: “It is indeed a pleasure and privilege for me to be associated with such an important programme associated with the training of drivers. This initiative is in line with the Government’s thinking, and I congratulate the AB Group and everybody who have contributed to this grand success. The academy is backed by lofty goals, and it is certain that the skills needed for good drivers will be promoted here. I hope more such academies will come up in the future.”
The driver is the most important person in a vehicle since he is in charge of the lives of all the people in the vehicle. The reputation of the entire the driver community and the travel group which the driver represents lies in his hands. Drivers should have a sensitive balance as their conduct and attitude are important for a safe travel.
With driver shortage becoming a burning problem in the country, it is encouraging to note the rise of such training institutes and increased focus on training quality drivers. The commercial vehicle industry is facing an uphill challenge in the form of dearth of professional drivers, which has come at a time when the segment is witnessing a host of new entrants into the market. It would be interesting to see how the Government along with the vehicle manufacturers and transport corporations tackle the issue, though it is certain that one way of doing so is to nurture drivers in professional driver training academies. The programme saw good representation from the vehicle manufacturers’ community including executives from Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, AMW, BharatBenz, Eicher and SML Isuzu, an encouraging sign for the future.
The event also witnessed awards being presented to the drivers of Parveen Travels and the technicians of Motorzone in recognition of their dedicated service to the transportation sector. The special guests Mr. Sundararaman, Mr. Rahul Awasthi and Mr. Om Prakash, Regional Manager (South), Ashok Leyland, were felicitated by the Chief Guest and also few other special invitees were presented with mementos for their gracious presence.
Motorzone, established in 2010, is a special zone with service facility for medium and heavy commercial vehicles in consultation with RACE Innovations (P) Ltd., a renowned research and engineering project firm. The common infrastructure, which includes wheel balancing, fuel pump calibration and tyre rethreading, makes it a more competitive service facility for vehicle owners and a sustainable model for OEMs who expect high end infrastructure in their service facilities.
Motorzone is intended to serve as a one-stop shop for vehicle owners and to meet their needs in dealing with issues such as service, spares, accessories, insurance and warranty under one single roof. At the same time, Motorzone recognises the need for exclusivity to OEMs, and the common facilitates are shared for better economics.
Ashok Leyland was the first vehicle manufacturer to have recognised Motorzone and had established an authorised service centre in 2010. In the last two years, it has been chosen as the second best service station for Ashok Leyland across India. The service centre has an exclusive 7-bay service workshop, trained manpower and 24×7 breakdown service facility.
AMW then made its entry into Motorzone, and currently, discussions are on to attract other major vehicle manufacturers into it. Motorzone also has a wheel-alignment & tyre centre, with the latest additions of the Wheels India – Air Suspension ASC and the new paint booth facility.