New Delhi: The auto girls are going upmarket.
Unlike previous shows, when small-town temporary help in terms of the young women—and some men—was the norm, this year’s Auto Expo will feature help from modelling agencies and management students from local educational institutes who have also been through training to get a handle on products and technologies on display starting today at Pragati Maidan.
With looks and brains on the up and up, so has remuneration. “The quest for quality has sent compensation levels soaring,” says Hem Kashyap, proprietor, Hem Associates, an agency specializing in temporary staffing for conferences and events. “The highest payout for us at the last auto show was Rs2,500 a day,” she said. This year, some professional models are getting between Rs7,000 and Rs15,000 a day with students going for Rs2,000-4,500 a day.
Complementing looks: A model poses with the newly unveiled Fiat Linea ahead of the 9th Auto Expo in New Delhi on Wednesday. Car makers are increasingly hiring modelling agencies to spice up the show. (Photo: Pankaj Nangia/ Mint)
Students have been hired from the Times School of Marketing, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Asia-Pacific Institute of Management and the Canadian Institute for International Studies in Chandigarh.
Some exhibitors have also hired talent and event management companies, such as Elite School of Modeling, Gravity Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, Encompass Events Pvt. Ltd, Percept D’Mark (India) Pvt. Ltd, and Showtime Events India Pvt. Ltd to help with their displays and events. The number of exhibitors this year is around 2,000 up from 1,200 in 2006, the last time the show was held.
In keeping with what has been a macho tradition in the auto world globally, women far outnumber men in terms of temporary staff, though the opposite tends to be true in terms of serious visitors and gawkers. And the women temps also get 50%-70% more than their male hunks.
“The gender skew is palpable in terms of numbers and compensation at the show,” says Gurpal Singh, deputy director general of the Confederation of Indian Industry, the lobby group that is one of several hosts for the expo.
So, girls are being paid anywhere between Rs2,500 and Rs7,000 a day, while boys get to make only around Rs1,500-4,000 a day.
“It’s the multinational automakers who have spoilt the market by doling out huge amounts,” says Avik Chattopadhyay, head, corporate marketing group, Apollo Tyres.
Germany’s Audi AG, for instance, has mostly professional models on display with their vehicles, including 20-year old Annie Singh, a Miss Maxim India finalist.