Monday, January 14, 2008

From peoples’ person to peoples’ car

-By Swetha Amit
Some gaps are better off not being bridged. However there are others which fall in the ‘bridge the gap’ category. This is especially so, when it involves the fulfillment of unrealized dreams and aspirations of the common man.

It was a keen observation of families riding on two-wheelers that ignited compassionate feelings in Mr. Tata. It invoked him to visualize a safe, affordable, all-weather form of transport for such a family.

Time has come for one to say goodbye to the humidity of helmets and wrap themselves around a seat belt; in the cozy warmth of an innovative car. It is a moment of shifting the balancing act from a bike to that of being behind a sleek steering. The lifestyle launch has propelled millions to hope for a safety and security factor in more than one way. Weathering the norms and storms of all kind, the highly technological vehicle has gradually entered into the market with splendor and style.

The Tata Nano has created ripples in the automobile industry world wide. A stupendous response is what welcomed this new entrant at the auto expo 2008. Many swarmed like bees to honey eager to get their hands on the ‘Nano’ which was booked in large numbers to be taken home to their respective ‘nannies’. It was evident that this ‘margin’nal utility seemed un’bounded’ by these remarkable reactions from people.

The suave look and its magnificent mileage of 20km/ltr prove to be a deadly combination. Being eco and economic friendly with its 1 lakh pricing and meeting the Euro-4 norms has carved a niche for itself. This ‘out of the box’ thinking has gained a competitive edge over others in the similar segment by giving its customers more space by a significant 21%. The 4 doors and generous 5 passengers seating along with its steel make up have assured its ‘hard core’ responsibility. Indeed it has slapped its critics hard, who were secretly hoping for this ‘dream’ to remain as one on an eternal basis. To an extent where the outcome exhibits that of a superior quality; eliminating away the whiffs of the foreseen ‘compromise’ controversy in turn.

It certainly ensures eliminating the nightmares of environmentalists as the chairman put it. The ‘concern’ expressed by the authorities ironically restricted itself only to the Nano especially when its reported to cause pollution lower than that of two wheelers and other four wheelers; the latter, some of which still do not adhere to the euro-3 norm.

The commendable project shows traces of similarity to that of the socially inclined Mr. Ratan Tata. Stylish and suave yet simple and down to earth: this makes him a cut above the rest. Yet not so high that he remains unreachable to the masses below.

This noble gesture has evoked jubilant feelings across the rural and urban sector as well. It has made the ‘middle class’ to look forward to a rise in their social stature and lifestyles. Comfort factor is attained by its moneys worth and will realize the ambitions of several of attaining ownership of a car at least once in their life time. When it all seemed like a distant dream like twinkling starlets beyond their reach especially with the climbing inflation.

While the concept of corporate social responsibility is emphasized by several companies; very few actually practice it. “Promises are promises” as the 70 year old chairman put it; he assured the ordinary stance of his dream to be nothing less than extraordinary it its utility. Many thrive and dwell upon profits while it takes one in a million to address the common issue of the common man. This is what probably makes Nano a ‘one in a million’ or rather ‘one in a lakh’ car in this case.
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