Thursday, January 10, 2008

I was there!

You've seen the pictures of the car, but I'll be posting some images of the madness that ensued before and after the launch. It is a miracle I managed to shove my way inside while fists and abuses were thrown at the entrance into the press conference and while going in a Vaishnavi (Tata's PR company) rep managed to tell me that there were some 1100 journalists inside. I have never seen so many cameras or camerapersons in my life, and if I ever thought that people whose job it is capturing images worked in wolf packs, today was the day.
About the car, it is rather cute and I will reserve judgement until I drive one, but I will admit that it is a fantastic piece of engineering. I don't know how much money Tata Motors will make on the car, but that is a question for another day. About Sunita Narain and R K Pachauri's comments on congestion and pollution, while valid stink of elitism I am afraid. People will protest against this car, but they should instead go after factories, after diesel generator sets and so much more. The problem with Indian greenies is that by protesting against the wrong things, they tend to lose goodwill. Remind me to cancel my subscription to Greenpeace. Don't go after people's aspirations guys, you lose goodwill. Tell people to consume more smartly, and tell our government to spend more wisely and not allow unfettered development, but mobility and communications are the wrong things to go after.
To quote Mr Tata on the Indian consumer...
"... he will aspire for more and as prosperity improves, that aspiration will be there for more and more people, suddenly it seems like that there is a quarter of our society that seems to grudge those people that improvement in quality of their lives based on inadequate infrastructure, based on pollution, based on congestion and you wonder if that part of society has the right to determine for the rest of society..."
By the way, really liked RNT's bit where he thanked the West Bengal government and he came this close to calling Mamata names. And also, I wonder if Apple Computer will sue Tata on the 'Nano' brand, but the Tata's are a big group so they would have gone through the legal issues.
Anyway, here are some of the promised pics and guys chill out on the pro and anti 9X talk. I have some interesting stuff on the new Triveni channel tomorrow.

The crowd at the launch, though a majority were journalists, there were also suppliers and other officials. In fact, the entire Tata group was there in strength.

The car on display, this is the standard version, no AC or radio and with a sticker price of Rs 1,00,000 which translates to Rs 1,30,000 on-road in Delhi, a 70K

The press conference hall was full of desi and non-desi journos!

Debasis Ray, Tata Motors PR chief conducts the press conference.


thalassa_mikra said...

It looks very cute - a bit like the Smart but that's inevitable with any small car (and the Smart costs several times this car).

The Tatas have got to be losing money on this - I wonder what their business plan is - hope that Nano users eventually graduate to the higher models.

meltyourfat said...

Debasis Ray: You have been there and your opinion counts more than anybosy who is just imagining and writing blogs on this mega event.
However, i have written a blog too, but after listening a FM radio discussion in US and here is what i sum it up.


Anonymous said...

the buzz is that the hindujas are looking for some positive coverage "to wash off the Bofors stains" and "whitewash" the third generation.

the two main newsmagazines have been approached for a cover story. some sort of deal is being worked out.

keep an eye on the news-stands for the latest.

what surprises me is if the deal is wholesale or retail. the owner or the chela who is being bought!!

Anonymous said...

I Dont see you in the pictures, whats up? lost?

Anonymous said...

K Picture not there cuz he looks like a monKey