Popularly known as the ‘Turbaned Tornado’, India born British Sikh Fauja Singh is not your average marathon runner. He is 104 years old and started his marathon running career at the ripe old age of 89. His personal best time for the London Marathon 2003 is 6 hours 2 minutes, and his marathon record, for age 90-plus, is 5 hours 40 minutes at the age of 92, at the 2003 Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
Holding a world record in his age bracket, Singh had retired at 102 after taking part in the Hong Kong marathon in 2013. Life after retirement is a lot of discipline, right food and running. “Running was God’s way of distracting me from suffering mentally from the loss of my wife and son,” he told in an interview to The Guardian.
A spirit like his cannot be matched with anything mortal, but one brand has managed to find a contemporary in the 104-year-old marathon runner. FMCG major, Nestle India has also completed 100 years in the country after commencing work in Chennai and Kolkata in 1912.
Nestle India has partnered with Delhi Half Marathon 2015, and has brought on board Fauja Singh as the ambassador of its ‘‘100 and running’ campaign.
The brand has rolled out an inspiring digital film as a salute to Singh. It takes a viewer through his journey of records, and the spirit that keeps him going – or let’s say ‘running’. The 1.37 minute film highlights Singh’s achievements told through his coach Harmander Singh and himself.
Singh attributes running as a reason for his happiness. He is in it for the happiness, not for the records or the money. He has said he’ll continue to run till he is dead.
Nestle India is inviting viewers to salute Fauja Singh by sharing the video and spreading inspiraiton.
— Nestlé India (@NestleIndia) November 22, 2015
Nestle is in celebratory mode in India. Marking its centenary celebration in India, Nestle had rolled out a film titled “Nestle: A Part of India’s Life for 100 Years’ this September. Conceptualized by McCann Erickson, it takes us back in time showing the journey of Nestle in India, starting from 1912, with key historic events marking India – the announcement of India’s independence, the World Cup victory in 1983, Rakesh Sharma’s space travel, among others.
It featured all the products by the brand like Milkmaid, Nescafe, Milky bar, Kit Kat, and Nestle’s milk, but, understandably, did not feature its instant noodle brand Maggi, after the latter was banned for excessive levels of lead and MSG. The ban has been lifted now and Brand Maggi is striving to regain consumer trust.
Bringing on board Fauja Singh is a winning move for Nestle, as both comply with the ‘100 and running’ philosophy. It is impressive to see Indian brands bringing alive their philosophy with the help of real life heroes.