Saturday, January 12, 2008

Impossible is nothing!!

Adidas should rope in Ratan Tata as its brand ambassador. With the launch of Nano, Mr. Tata has achieved what the world's automakers said was impossible. Suzuki motors ridiculed Tata's attempts to build such a car. It was called all sorts of names, like it would be an enhanced rickshaw, will not have that much power, no safety features, etc. The features that the boys from Suzuki wanted are all present. I call them boys, because the men are in Tata Motors. The 600cc engine develops 20bhp. Enough for a family of four that used to ride a two-wheeler which is not more than 8 bhp.

Scooter-king Rahul Bajaj and motor-cycle prince Rajiv Bajaj are a classic example of "the grapes are sour" adage. Bajaj first scoffed at the fact the two-wheeler ride is unsafe. Well, Mr. Bajaj, two-wheeler ride is unsafe and actually not meant for a family of four. So, Tata was targeting a market where the family has not enough means to buy a Maruti 800, but wants to travel comfortably. What's wrong, when Mr. Tata says that four people, with luggage on a two-wheeler is dangerous riding? And if he wanted to make the journey safer for them, why should Mr. Bajaj be so worried? And Rajiv Bajaj, the less said, the better. After unveiling the concept car Bajaj 'Lite', Rajiv Bajaj was constantly trying to undermine the Nano. Talking about the feasibility of a low-cost car, he even mentioned that it is impossible to make a car at Rs. 1 lakh. And after the fully functional car was unvieled, Rajiv Bajaj changed tracks and started talking about how the pricing makes the car unprofitable. If the car wasn't profitable, no business would have launched it. So, it goes to say that the car is indeed profitable. The margin will be definitely less and Tata Motors will have to rely on volumes for generating revenue. But, Mr. Bajaj, apart from profits, there is also an underlying social cause. The Tatas are known for this. And Bajaj is not as big as Tata on the social service front. So, stop your cribbing and accept with grace that the Nano has beaten all skepticism and is a fully functional car in its category.

Let's talk of the man who started this all. Ratan Tata, despite facing so much criticism, gracefully said that Nano won't be able to fulfill the needs of every person who needs this car. So, there have to be other players like Bajaj and Maruti who can build such a car. I think the other industrialists should acquire this trait of humility in success from Ratan Tata.

Thank you, Mr. Ratan Tata. You have proved the well-known saying "Where there is a will, there is a way". For once, everything else had taken a back seat and the entire world was talking about nothing else but the Nano. It has become more popular than cricket. Airtime dedicated on channels as well as radio networks and print space in newspapers indicates the popularity of the car. For once, the front page and editorials had something other than cricket. People forgot Harbhajan and Symonds and were discussing about the Nano. On behalf of Tata Motors, Mr. Ratan Tata, please take a bow!!
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  1. also it is great because it showed the unique business opportunities in India, and the challenges that it can throw...motivates people like me to look for an 'indian' solution, and not scoff at there not being enough challenging positions in India

  2. @ Kaushik,

    the fact that India is a unique market has been realised long back by the MNCs. that's why u see an Indianised Pizza Hut. but what Tata made people realise that the methods developed in the west need to be put into Indian perspective i.e. since the target market is different, the solution should also come from different thinking, perhaps turning the existing practices on their heads

  3. just read today that Ratan Tata writes his name as Ratan N. Tata. The middle initial 'N' is for his father's name Naval. But now, he can be proudly called as Ratan "Nano" Tata!!