Tata Nano - The People's Car

Posted: 2 Feb 2012

See all articles by Krishna Palepu

Krishna Palepu

Harvard University - Harvard Business School; Harvard University - David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Research; Harvard Business Review; NBER; International Academy of Management

Bharat N. Anand

Harvard University - Strategy Unit

Rachna Tahilyani

Harvard Business School, India Research Center

Date Written: March 28, 2011

Abstract

The case explores how Tata Motors, India's largest automobile company, developed the Nano, the world's cheapest car. The case focuses on the translation of Ratan Tata's (Chairman of Tata Motors) vision of a safe affordable car for the masses by Ravi Kant, Managing Director of Tata Motors into the Nano Project. The case raises questions around breaking the price - quality barrier and changing existing internal processes to accommodate revolutionary new ideas. The dilemma of success - Tata Nano was a runaway bestseller - left Tata Motors debating how large a bet they should make on the Nano and what kind of capacity commitment this requires.

Learning Objective: The case illustrates how to build a global company that can successfully compete with companies from developed economies and how large companies innovate in a breakthrough way in the marketplace.

Suggested Citation

Palepu, Krishna and Anand, Bharat N. and Tahilyani, Rachna, Tata Nano - The People's Car (March 28, 2011). Harvard Business School Strategy Unit Case No. 710-420. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1997165

Krishna Palepu (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Business School ( email )

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International Academy of Management ( email )

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Bharat N. Anand

Harvard University - Strategy Unit ( email )

Harvard Business School
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Boston, MA 02163
United States
617 495-5082 (Phone)
617 495-0355 (Fax)

Rachna Tahilyani

Harvard Business School, India Research Center ( email )

Mahindra Towers, 5th Floor, B Wing
Worli
Mumbai, 400018
India

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