Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tata Motors: Redefing the Car


Throughout the streets of urban India and Southeast Asia, entire families commute and get around town on a single two-wheel scooter.  It is not uncommon to see a young child standing on the front of a scooter, the father driving, and the mother sitting behind the father holding another child; all this is occurring while driving the scooter 60mpg down a congested highway.  Add hazardous road conditions to these four person scooter scenarios, and you have a very dangerous situation....

This is the scene Ratan Tata saw every day when he would drive through the streets of India to work.  At the time, he was the head of Tata Motors and had the ability to change these perilous driving conditions.  His solution was to create a small, four door vehicle that would cost only $2,500.  This vehicle, named the "Nano" would be marketed as an alternative to scooter travel and would target low-income families in India and throughout the developing world.

Image result for tata nano
 As India has continued to develop and grow economically, millions and millions more people each year have the desire and the income to buy a car.  Tata knows this, and knows the current situation on the road in India; this is why they decided to create the Nano.  Furthermore, as India grows economically, people outside large urban cities, due to economic growth and greatly improved infrastructure, will need a car.  In the rural areas of India, roads and transportation networks are not as developed as in the urban centers.  Typical, large four door cars, are not able to easily travel on these rural roads, leaving many in these areas without transportation.  However, due to the small size, and compact build of the Nano, it can travel better on rural roads then the typical car.  This was problem was clear to Ratan Tata and is another reason he created the Nano.

Ratan Tata is the ultimate problem solver.  On his daily commute, he saw a safety problem that needed to be solved and set out to do so with the creation of the Nano.  Furthermore, he brought automobile travel to thousands by creating an affordable car that was able to traverse poor rural roads.  As Gardner discussed, a creator is someone who solves a particular problem and is also one who creates products.  When analyzing Tata, it is clear he did both. 

On a higher level, Tata was without a doubt a Big C creative.  He brought a product to India that not only changed the culture of travel in the country (by offering a safe and accessible alternative to scooters), all while creating a new domain of cheap automobile travel in the developing world.

Gardner, Howard.  "Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity Seen Through the Lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham, and Gandhi".  Basic Books. New York, NY. 1993, 2011.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree with you that Ratan Tata very creatively solved a problem that was evident in India and Southeast Asia. He saw a problem, a created a rational solution, meanwhile completely revolutionizing the car industries in these countries. It amazes me that this phenomenon of packing such a small scooter, especially with small children, even exists. I think it's really great that Ratan Tata made sure that the car was affordable and really aimed this solution at the people who really face this problem and could realistically afford the solution. I'm not sure what year the Nano was created, but it would be nice to see a follow up of the situation in India and see how many people actually use these cars and if they really did solve the problem. Great job overall!


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