Monday, March 23, 2009

And the Best Debut for the year is...

...Obviously the People's Car - Nano, the latest nipper from Tata Motors.

As Ratan Tata unveils the world's cheapest car, I experience a motley of emotions.

I am excited at this yet another contrivance, unique in its own special way, unleashed onto the overwhelmed masses, that promises to revolutionize the transport scene in India. As Ratan Tata talks about his dream to create an affordable yet safe vehicle for the family, where "the father driving the scooter, his young kid standing in front of him, his wife seated behind him holding a little baby", I am moved and impressed with his inimitable dexterity to combine his compassion for human life, the historic TATA values and his keen entrepreneurial acumen into this tactile product that not only makes a helluva business sense but that also ostentatiously interweaves with it the aspirations of millions.

Here's a car that's the ultimate lower middle class family's fantasy - modestly priced at Rs. 1 Lac (approx 2000 USD), that's a little more than what a good two-wheeler would cost, any day safer than a bike or a scooter, high on fuel efficiency and low on emissions. For a change, we have a car launch sans the steamy skeletal models, a launch that talks about utility and not style and flamboyance, a launch that targets the guy on the road and not the rich brat who has never walked the streets of the city he was born in. I am glad a privileged Indian, though for a profitable advantage, did think of the not-so-privileged one!

For all these reasons, I am enticed to look away from the looming danger this car brings. Unfortunately, our roads in India are not (and will never be) ready for the enormous congestion that the success of this car may wreak. Imagine all the two-wheelers you see metamorphosed into four wheelers - I shudder at the thought!
But then, we Indians are seldom prepared well - things just happen to us and we learn to deal with it...hope this time this magic wand does not start ticking a distant bomb!

1 comment:

  1. "small wonder"...nano seems to hav found a prospective buyer in u..Ratan tata has send d nation in a frenzy wid his "sui generis" offering dat we call nano..


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