Sachin Gupta, Senior Vice President and Group CIO, Havells India Ltd, on his lifelong passion—cars.
By Pooja Paryani
Sachin Gupta has been in the IT space for over 35 years. A large chunk of that time has been spent working in senior technology roles across various sectors, including auto, media, retail, IT services, manufacturing, hospitality, and healthcare. He’s been responsible for creating IT departments from scratch, driving compliance and digital transformation, implementing strategy, and enabling and driving business. Recently, he was recognised for his work as a Data Centre and Infrastructure Icon at CIO Power List 2016.
What many might not know is that Sachin’s passion for cars rivals his love for IT and goes back even further. When he’s not developing a strategic roadmap to leverage IT for growth, Sachin can be found cruising behind the wheels of his new BMW 520d. Also in his garage, is a Honda City and a Ford Eco Sport, used by the other members of his family. Here Sachin tells us a little more about his passion.
“I have driven almost all the brands in the mid-luxury segment like Audi, Mercedes, Lexus, and BMW, as well as ones in the high-end segment like Porsche, Ferrari, etc. Yet my favourite brand would be BMW. Along with super features, the car looks sporty yet elegant. Though Mercedes has got more safety features, when compared to BMW, I would still choose BMW above all. I owned a BMW X3 earlier and have recently added the new BMW 520d to my garage.”
Top four brands in the market
“They would be Lexus, Mercedes, Audi, and BMW. Lexus has got almost all the features that a car lover would look for. It is the most customer-friendly car and very dependable because it comes out of the Toyota stable. If safety is your prime concern, then German behemoth Mercedes will be your ideal choice. It’s also a great chauffeur-driven car. Audi has great features and after sales service. I have been a great fan of Audi because of the company’s customer-friendly behaviour. BMW is very responsive; it’s one of the best driver-friendly cars in the market and I really enjoy driving one. The important thing to consider while picking up a brand is the safety feature. Of course, we love driving at top speeds, but we should not be scared while doing it.”
Road trips around the world
“When it comes driving abroad, especially in Europe, I’m partial to Porsche. Although I have driven many premium brands, like Bentley and Maybach, I still choose Porsche 911 for most of my trips. I have driven in France, Germany, Austria and England. Recently, I drove in Italy as well. I’ve also driven on all the highways in the US as I lived there for 17 years. In India I have driven to almost all the parts in the east, west and south.”
“It has been a childhood dream of mine to be able to drive on the Autobahn in Germany. So in October 2000, I was in Germany with a friend of mine and I drove from Munich to Essen in a Porsche 911 Turbo. This drive normally takes around six hours one way, but we did it in less than eight hours both ways! While wheeling on the Autobahn I was driving at 210 kmph and I could feel the adrenalin rushing in my blood. What a thrill! I enjoy road trips, especially when I drive fast!”
“I would love to own the Porsche 911 Turbo. I love the way it speeds up, and the fact that it has great safety features and looks sleek. Since I like to drive on roads that have more turns and twists, I’d have to drive it in Europe and the US because of the good road conditions and safety measures. I really enjoy driving in these countries. If given a chance, and if there were better roads, I would love to take the Porsche to Leh-Ladakh and Rohtang Pass.”
Driving experiences in Europe, India and Mexico
“When you drive in Europe you will enjoy the ride as you will feel safe even if you’re driving at a high speed. I feel safety is much more important because I am a fast driver. The US also has great roads to drive on. You will definitely enjoy the ride there as well. A driver won’t really enjoy driving in India as the road conditions and the driving sense of people is not that good as compared to the other countries. The cars in our country are low and speed breaks also don’t let you enjoy the ride. The roads are congested and thanks to the high volume of cars, there are several traffic bottlenecks in the city. Mexico is no different from India when it comes to driving. There will be six lanes on a three-lane road and the driving sense is not up to the mark. The driving experience in Mexico and India is the same.”