Thursday, March 26, 2009
News channels had an easy job at hand as most of them simply telecast the launch of Tata Nano for hours on Monday. The world’s cheapest car would not have got more attention anywhere than in India for seldom do we come across a vast continent more obsessed with affordability. How many times have we seen a neighbor arguing with the sabjiwallah knowing well, or pretending to not realize that the bargain would not fetch him more than few rupees? The last time, the government announced hike in fuel prices, petrol pumps had to shut down as hordes of vehicles got lined up for fuel as the rate hike was effective from next day. Obviously, in India the most famous four letter word is not ‘f*#k’ but ‘sale’ as there are showrooms which have such ‘sale’ on for twelve months in a year. On the top of it, the optimists claim that we are getting richer year after year. Statistically, we may be, but it will take few generations to learn how to act rich. As they say old habits die-hard. Mr. Tata might have been applauded by media for being the new trendsetter. In his country, people save few lakhs by buying cars without air bags. Nonetheless, the applause is well deserved as Mr. Tata has not only successfully manufactured the cheapest car, but also has made money by selling his cars to ‘mama boys’ who are known to get best deal out of each paisa they spend.