Mass-market products are a mission for the group: Tata | business | Hindustan Times
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Mass-market products are a mission for the group: Tata

The House of Tatas won’t stop at inexpensive cars and low-cost houses, if Ratan Tata has his way. Perhaps, the next innovative and lowest-priced product could be a five-dollar watch from Group company, Titan Industries, reports BR Srikanth.

business Updated: May 28, 2009 21:41 IST
BR Srikanth

The House of Tatas won’t stop at inexpensive cars and low-cost houses, if Ratan Tata has his way.

Perhaps, the next innovative and lowest-priced product could be a five-dollar watch from Group company, Titan Industries. Such affordable and durable products from masses are part of its new strategy to address the lower part of the pyramid (population) accounting for 600-700 million, says Ratan Tata.

On Wednesday, the Chairman of Tata Group said, “We have taken a conscious decision to innovate products that are affordable and durable to the masses, which constitute the lower part of the pyramid and account for about 70 percent of our population.” He was fielding questions from students and faculty as part of valedictory of centenary celebrations of Indian
Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore

Tata expressed disappointment that few companies are catering to the bottom of the pyramid. “All along the focus of entrepreneurs and corporations have been to design and develop products for the top of the pyramid that has about 250-300 million people. Though these people constitute about 25-30 per cent of the population, the need of the hour is to create products and services for the rest of the Indians,” he said.

However, he sounded a word of caution that excessive regulation and multiple controls could prove major hurdles in innovating products that are qualitative, technologically superior and economical.

Tata said the group would contribute towards a fund for a new facility and new discipline in the century-old Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

“The fund will be in addition to the annual grant the Tata group gives to the institute. We will announce the amount when we decide it, which will be our contribution to the institute’s new century,” he said.