Unique Open Bid Awaits Modi!
What makes an automobile so personal, unique and a celebrity? Is it the brand/logo, ownership/lineage or its colour/shape or even specifics like the automatic sun-roof, upholstery or horse-power? Ponder! Yes, it could be all those but most of all it is indeed the vehicle's transport office registration number plate – an icing on the cake - and it does reflect the owner’s personality and status.
As the UK Indians are apparently jostling to have an entry ticket to Wembley Stadium to witness the address of India’s highest decibel Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s jamboree next week and the ‘UK welcomes Modi’ group is out to make it the ‘loudest, the most vibrant’ reception ever, a coveted automobile number plate is up for a charity auction all set to make waves.
Nearly four-decades in UK, his heart still beats for India and for fellow Indians back home. Joginder Sethi or Jo is the man ready to put his most prized possession on stake – a UK road transport legal car number plate ‘JA11 HND’ (Jai Hind for short). He wishes the proceeds to go to the families of farmers under financial debt who are committing suicide in India and to light up some of the under developed rural schools with solar energy.
The number plate literally meaning ‘Jai Hind’ adorns one of his cars - a BMW. He thought of officially transferring it his family Porsche that was to be part of the PM’s entourage before the interest shown by a UK Indian businessman in buying the plate and presenting it to Prime Minister Modi changed his mind. “Why can’t it fetch something for my farmer brethren in India”, he feels.
"The salutation 'Jai Hind', translating as 'Salute to India' is the single unifying force for all Indians, above all religions, across the globe. My desire is that it should be on that the car that carries Indian Prime at the head of the vehicular procession to Wembley. Let it also raise some funds for those who deserve them back home in India.
He is open to the idea of selling it to the highest bidder or raising funds suggested through a draw. He has written to Europe India Forum's 'UK Welcomes Modi' group congratulating them for planning the largest reception ever for an Indian dignitary and apprising them of the humble ways he would like to raise money for various causes, including helping the families of Indian farmers committing suicides and lighting up a few schools with solar power in rural areas.
Modi’s visit has been making headlines and Europe India Forum(EIF) is set to make the Wembley address an event to remember. Media is agog with the frenzy being raised for the forthcoming rally. "This is how the idea could work,” his note adds: “We offer everyone in the UK, especially people of the Indian origin and all the attendees at the rally in Wembley stadium, the chance to enter into a prize draw to win this number plate, at say £ 3-5 or £10 per entry. This could be advertised on the electronic screens on the day and via social media beforehand. The winner will be announced on the day at Wembley and then receives the DVLA certificate and also the physical plate itself." If this does not work he has put a minimum bidding price of 100,000 pounds for anyone willing to stake a claim through open bid.
It continues, "this is the perfect time to offer British Indians a chance to reconnect with their home country and be a proud patriot living abroad" adding that the charities and associated partners are welcome. He feels that such an effort will add more colour and substance to the media coverage of Modi’s visit and increase awareness on the working of the EIF and its work improving community relations.
Interestingly, Joginder has a ‘Modi’ connection too. He graduated in science from Modi College, Patiala before moving to England in 1976 for further education. He was in Nottingham for some add on qualifications before Loughbourgh University. Although entering his studies with no prior computing experience, his determination, curiosity and interest lead him to succeed in the field.
The Patiala born is the author of various technical books and software packages published by Longman Group, Digital Press and Butterworth Heinemann. Sethi founded Datawise in 1994, a software development company with offices in Nottingham, London and Delhi. Datawise won various industry awards for the software packages it produced. These are being used by investment banks throughout the world. Seven years later, he sold Datawise Corp to Trace Group, a listed company, where he worked as a Managing Director for many years, before buying the business back in 2005.
Here’s a list of some of the most expensive bids made on car number plates in UK:
'VIP 1': £285,000. Owned by billionaire Chelsea FC boss Roman Abramovich, it was once placed on the Pope mobile for His Holiness' visit to Ireland
‘KR15 HNA’: £233,000. A London woman became the owner of the UK’s most expensive ever number plate.
The number plate, which bears the name of the Lord Krishna, shot up in price from a starting bid of £27,000 at an auction at the Casa Hotel in Chesterfield
‘MR51 NGH’: £100,000. A popular ‘address’ in the Sikh community was sold in the UK in 2006
'51 NGH': £254,000.'Singh' was sold in the UK in 2006
'K1 NGS': £231,000 A Royal plate believed to have been bought by an Arab Sultan in 1993
'25 O': £518,000. The priciest ever sold by the DVLA, bought by Ferrari dealer John Collins in 2014. The plate is now thought to take pride of place on a Ferrari 250SWB once owned by Eric Clapton, worth around £10million
'F 1': £440,000 The previous record holder, the initials of Formula 1 were bought by Bradford businessman Afzal Khan in 2008. The digits were then assigned to his McLaren-Mercedes SLR. JA11 HND: Offer Price £100,000