With a history that dates back to 1945, Tata Motors is one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world and it is known for its stellar customer service and employee welfare. It is said that no segment would exist without Tata. The people value it greatly to that extent.
Ratan Tata became the Chairman of Tata Motors in 1990. He was one of the leaders who led Tata Motors to great success. He had a peculiar habit. When he gets tired while working, he takes a car out of his collection and goes for a drive without telling anyone. During an evening drive, he saw a scene. He was very sorry when he saw it. On a two-wheeler, a couple with their two children were riding dangerously. Ratan was deeply affected by the scene. Many middle-class Indian families must travel on two-wheelers with their families if they want to go somewhere. It saddened him to see a family of four traveling in such a dangerous way on Indian roads.
Even ordinary cars without any amenities were sold at high prices in India. So Ratan Tata realized that middle-class dreams of owning a car were merely dreams. Then he took action. He thought that the car should have all the amenities like an expensive car and its price should be very low since these poor families must also buy a car for their families. Nevertheless, he decided to make an affordable car with all the amenities, a decision that later spawned the Nano car.
However, the Nano car had many problems, and the production was difficult. Several news organizations made headlines the next minute with Ratan Tata declaring he was going to build a car costing one lakh rupees. Indian car company Maruti Suzuki was at its height at the time. They laughed at the proposal. Maruti Suzuki leader Osamu Suzuki repeatedly criticized the idea of making a car for one lakh rupees, questioning its quality even if it was made this way.
Not only him, but also the chairmen of several other car companies have criticized this. Ratan Tata accepted this as a challenge for himself.
He immediately convened an emergency meeting of top executives of his company. There was a heated debate. Everyone in confusion asked, “A lakh of rupees? How can that be?” But Tata would not waiver. “If a promise comes from Tata, it must be fulfilled,” he said. He then ordered the authorities to start manufacturing a car worth a lakh of rupees immediately. There was no clear direction in sight of the high officials. A profit is not even needed, but shouldn’t the cost of making the car be brought into the price? As they suffocated, the authorities came up with many designs and put them in front of Ratan Tata. However, he didn’t like any of them. So, the authorities tried again and came up with other designs. Tata did not like those either. Because all of the designs had compromises and inconvenient features intended to bring the cost down. He mentioned them all and rejected them all.
He suggested that this car should have all the amenities of other cars and that it should give a good experience to the people riding in it. The officers worked day and night until they achieved the final design of the Nano car. In the end, Ratan Tata was satisfied with the design. Now the car must be built. Many customers had ordered the car, believing what he had promised. The car must also be delivered to customers on time. Another problem arose for Ratan Tata at this time. Nano-car manufacturing plants were set up in West Bengal’s Singur area. All that remains was to produce. A dispute arose between the farmers who provided land for the factory. Despite many efforts for peace, Tata Motors was compelled to move its new factory. A dilemma had arisen for Tata – one side had to deliver on time to the customers while the other had to relocate. Finally, the factory was relocated to Sanand in Gujarat. Trucks had to be loaded with tons of machinery and metals and driven 2,000 kilometers to Sanand in Gujarat.
In 2007, the Nano car was launched as a result of the hard work of Tata employees. Media, directors of other car companies, and customers packed the stadium. A hologram of Ratan Tata went on to introduce the Nano car for the first time. Ratan Tata was driving a sleek Nano car in front of them while they imagined what the cheapest car in the world would look like. “The dream of middle-class Indians about owning a car is no longer just a dream!”, he said softly.
He addressed the audience about the many difficulties and setbacks encountered in building the car. Pristinely he praised his team in addition to everyone who worked so hard on the car. The group cried tears of joy. Everyone was absolutely delighted.
However, Tata Motors encountered many problems following the sale of this car. The incident involving the Nano car that caught fire while driving caused a great deal of concern for the public. Additionally, there were complaints about technical defects and poor design. Many rivals seized on this opportunity to criticize Tata Motors. These complaints have raised concerns about the safety of the car. Despite all these obstacles, the really successful feature of this vehicle is that it is affordable.
It is from this event that we have learned that in order to achieve success, we must be fully focused on our work regardless of who criticizes it.
Written by Jawahar, II YR, Civil Dept
Edited by Eshani, IV YR, Civil Dept