Nano or Vano

Tata Groups is one of the most renowned groups in India. Off late, with its expansion & acquisition plans abroad, it is making its presence felt worldwide. Looking at their history, we can easily figure out that they have been achieving things that were regarded as “unachievable”. Be it the Tata Steel, Taj Hotels, Tata Motors or TCS; Tata’s have always been the first of its kind in India and in some cases the world over.

Tata’s were regarded as excellent entrepreneurs with high “social responsibility”. For example, history of Tata Steel conveys many unique traits that depict their social responsibilities. Tata Steel introduced

  • 8-hour work day as early as in 1912 when only a 12-hour work day was the legal requirement in Britain
  • Leave-with-pay in 1920, a practice that became legally binding upon employers in India only in 1945.
  • A Provident Fund for its employees as early as in 1920, which became a law for all employers under the Provident Fund Act only in 1952.

Tata Steel’s furnaces have never been disrupted on account of a labour strike and this is an enviable record considering its presence for more than a century now.

Tata’s were the one to setup India’s First Luxury Hotel (Taj). They brought IT industry (TCS) to India and introduced onsite-offshore model which is providing jobs for millions of engineers now. They introduced one of India’s first multinational companies (Tata Tea Limited) which became the world’s second largest global branded tea operation with product and brand presence in 40 countries. They also introduce the first “All Indian Car” (Tata Indica).

Their current venture is to commercialize the much-awaited and much-talked-about “Tata Nano” or “The One Lac Car”. It takes more than just a dream and huge money to bring in such a revolution. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, endless research, innovation, huge investment and above all perseverance to transform such a Vision into Reality. The question is, “Is it going to be a reality?” I am sure that they can make it happen but the timeline (Oct 2008) is what I am not really sure about.

When we look at all the chaos that surrounded the Singur Plant and its land acquisition, we can clearly say one requires more than the above said qualities to formulate things to happen.

What was the problem? Do you think Mamata Banerjee doesn’t want West Bengal to be industrialized? She is known for opposing industrialization. Even in 2005, she protested against Salim Groups huge investment in WB. But in my opinion, I don’t think she has non-industrialization policy in mind.

I think no politician would intent to stop industrialization. They would be looking at more and more industries for the state’s growth. If not for the state’s growth, it will surely, at some point in time, turn out to be monetary benefit for them.

Then, why should she protest? I am sure it is not about her vetted interest on the farmers. She might have wanted to get some visibility and public prejudice for the next election. I am not really sure how much of votes she has won/lost by this action/trick.

I am in total agreement with the idea that it is the wish of the landowner to sell or not sell their lands. But how pragmatic is it to consider individual owner’s wish, when the government needs to acquire such huge landscape for good cause? I am sure such problems are there in all the SEZ’s setup in the country. There will be at least one landowner who will not be readily willing to let go his land. Government (of course with the help of party workers) will have to threaten them for successful acquisition. Unfortunately, in this case, the protest went overboard to the extent of totally shutting down the plant operations for more than a week now.

When we think logically, it is not going to be very feasible for farmers to cultivate in those lands, if construction works have already started on them. For those who require better compensation, they can sit and negotiate and I think they should get it. Regardless of whatever be it, the government will have to settle this issue either by providing more money or through some other means. If they want to handle it politically, they can think of some huge sum for the politicians involved in the protest and get them off the race. That would leave the farmers “unarmed” and open up an easy way to tackle them individually.

I strongly feel that Tata’s and the State Govt. did not take Mamata seriously. They should have settled this issue even before starting any work on the plant. Now that a huge investment is already made, it is very unlikely to pullout and if in case it is pulled out, it will prove to be an expensive decision. Somehow Tata’s have not been as efficient as Reliance in handling politicians. “Handling politicians” is a crucial for any corporate to survive and grow in this country.

Anyway, what next? Governor’s intervention and negotiations have brought down the agitation and politicians are off the battle now. “We need to give some to take some” – Tata’s need to understand this and think about giving back at least some portion of the land. I am sure there is always more than one possible solution. Tata’s can let go some portion of land and still can achieve the goal. I don’t think alternate solution is impossible – it’s just that they don’t want to think of one.

Tata’s – you can handle any situation. Just be judicious and do what it takes to bring your Nano into reality. Let’s cut down our (future customer’s) long wait and provide us with your engineering marvel; let the world ponder.

You can count me as one of your future customers for sure.

About saravanah

Saravanan is a happy and carefree person, who doesn't have any kind of hobbies except for watching TV and sleeping. Most of his time is spend in office or commuting to office. At his home, he simply chooses to sleep. He is interested in cooking, reading somethings, chatting with friends, sudoku, etc. but hardly does any of these :) He has completed few years of his service in IT industry, which is very evident from his bald, fat and old look. Never the less, he is young at heart and physically very tired. He just got married and offlate he is taking various steps to keep his wife, parents & in-laws happy. Just like any other married man, he is confused and knows-not how to act/react to the situations. He enjoys the love and company of his wife and the affection that his parents are showering on him.
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2 Responses to Nano or Vano

  1. Karthik says:

    Too bad to know that the Tata’s have opted out of singur – Its a disappointing outcome –

    Yeah it was one another exhibit of cheap politics by all parties involved – because it was only the Tata’s money – And common people employment Oppurtunities – None of the politician lost a penny on this account but gained some votes among the illiterate farmers.

    One party wanted to make this innovative project their success and the other parties didnt want the credit to go the other party, esp in the light of elections to come, even at the cost of the whole project being shaffed. Otherwise this issue would have been resolved between farmers / goverment officials and the Tata’s – Instead it added two more elements to the discussion – the ruling and opposite political party members.

    Tata’s project is a money minded project. They are business men and they are expected to be so. But look into how well they have cared for the country – the ppl. While their ventures have brought profit to the organization, their values have brought better lives / standards for a lot of common citizens of this country.

    India’s image is not built by the water & soil in and around it – but the billion ppl – thier acts and achievements and standards of life – The tata family – comprising of its leaders – employees, has done much value add than any of these politicians who have deeply involved in this issue.

    Is the land so fertile across, for the farmers to raise the concern & retain – If so why did the Tata’s opt for that piece of land for industrialization. In business – it might boil down to – what is the gains if either did what they want to do and evaluating which is a better yield.

    This evaluation keeps the passion of the farmers for their owned land, aside. It cannot be valued, but is of huge value to the individual farmer. But in such a massive and innovative process, which has also been driven by passion and welfare for the country, the farmers could have opted for a better approach. A reasonable compensation / job oppurtunity, should have been asked for – rather rioting.

    Will the same politicians, If have to construct a bridge, will they again go by each and every individual persons concerns and take a decision in favour of the 100 percent ppl who will be affected. Has this been the practice and if required to be practiced going forward – can we think of constructing a single new bridge.

    Certain initiatives should be taken at the view of welfare to the ppl and affected ppl in this process should be compensated accordingly. Mediator or representatives should work for the people’s welfare and not for their long term goals and to reach new heights.

    In this process the politicians, have moved out the Tata for now and many other industries for years to come, in settling up in WB. They have given a clear message to the Industrial Sector.

    The impact doesnt stop there – they have also given a message to various other party members across the country – to adopt similiar measures in respective regions to get reasonable political mileage and flash footage from the media.

    Am not able to view this a local big shot trying to buy out poor farmers land – but a big and innovative goverment plan – curbed under the feet with the support of common people on account of false promises.

    Similiar to the nuclear energy deal – that was and is tried to submerse..

    Neither the ruling party nor the opposite can feel good about this outcome. Its an unwritten but well documented stand that irrespective of an act is being good or bad to the people, if one party supports – the other party has to confront for political mileage.

    Fault on Tata’s
    – As a business group you should have handled it better.

    Fault on the ruling govt
    – You should support – with your official and armed forces – not with your polictical base – it was a governmental – official process – not a bi election to prove majority / or your strength.
    – Party Lost & People Lost

    Fault with Opp Party
    – Have you ever evaluated the good side of this project
    – Have you ever evaluated this project positively and tried to make this happen and get better benefits for the people, than what the ruling party initially offered to do
    – Have you ever thought this issue – beyond the coming elections
    – Party Won & People Failed

    Fault with affected farmers
    – You would have retained the land – happy about that
    – But couldnt help to understand – if you were well informed on this project – its gains to every individual across the society.

    A shameful victory.

  2. C.B says:

    What is VANO ?

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