I had just finished going through an incredible story of Tata Motors in Forbes. No one can question the creditable and successful entry of TELCO, now known as Tata Motors, in passenger car manufacture. The two old monopolistic Indian passenger car manufacturers couldn’t survive the onslaught of competition when the Indian economy opened after post liberalization of 1991. One died, the other is gasping.
However, I was amazed and shocked to read a report that appeared almost in all newspapers. Why should Tata Motors managing director Ravi Kant be so adamant and blunt in asserting the right regarding setting up of its Rs 1 lakh car plant at Singur that has created so much of controversy? He can certainly defend the company’s selection of Singur as the site for its proposed small-car plant. But he can’t say what he has been attributed to have said. Ravi Kant said, “We choose where we want to set up the plant and nobody has the right to speak about the location. It is entirely our choice.” The statement smells arrogance. Tata Motors and its MD owe to the people of the country a technical explanation behind selecting Singur over the other locations suggested by the government. It is important as many including myself suggested that Tata Motors would have selected the other location rather Singur- the highly fertile 1000 acres of cultivation land. MD would have presented a matrix showing the ranking of the different locations on various parameters desired for a right plant location.
How illogical and authoritarian it looks when Ravi Kant asserts, “I personally visited twice all the six sites shown by the Bengal government. I was part of the decision-making process in which Singur emerged as the clear choice based on sound business sense.”
As I was told by one of my friends, Ravi Kant is an alumnus of my own IIT, Kharagpur. As a senior, I expected he would have given an engineer and manager-like an answer rather than replying like an autocrat dictator.
Many who don’t like the decision of Singur are the well wishers of Tata Motors and feel proud about its performance over the years. The whole of India is looking forward for a great technical breakthrough of the company with this unique product of Rs 1 lakh car and wish a grand success of the venture. But Ravi would have been humbler in his statement.
Trinamool warns Tata Motors of ‘serious consequences’
P.S. Here is how the selection of location is explained by a global corporation:
Mr Paul Otellini, Intel’s president and chief executive officer has been cited in a March 26-dated story on http://news.xinhuanet.com thus: that Intel chose Dalian (a port city in northeast China’s Liaoning Province) over a dozen other sites, including cities in Israel and India, because China is Intel’s fastest growing market and the cost of production is lower; and that infrastructure, education, adequate power, water and logistics in Dalian were all factors in securing the deal.
And some good news from Singur– Singur locals look at alternative means of employment