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Nano puts nation's dreams on fast track

It is a case of one man's personal dream which goes on to defy convention to transform the aspirations of millions all over, writes Ronnie Screwvala.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2008 02:05 IST
Ronnie Screwvala
Ronnie Screwvala

Every couple of decades, one man's personal dream defies convention to transform the aspirations of millions of people all over the planet.

Ratan Tata is such a man. His daring, passion and commitment has not only stretched the boundaries of how ordinary Indians view their lives, but in one epiphanous moment revolutionised how they would see India.

Once a land of snake charmers, then defined by the Taj Mahal, BPO and IT, the Nano has leap-frogged India into the hallowed halls of the pioneering path breakers who show the rest of the world how to do it elegantly, efficiently, and profitably.

In the past we as a country may have concentrated on local rather than global challenges, we might have lacked positioning and confidence, and we were known more for our diligent man-power than our creative brain-power. But of late and led by Young India — we've demonstrated that a pursuit of a vision combined with thinking out of the box, can result in innovative and cutting edge solutions even in the face of all odds.

Specifically Mr Tata's deliverance on a promise should be an inspirational example to Youth India in Universities all over the world, as well as corporate India who'd do well to learn that just because the developed world says its impossible doesn't make it so.

Critics have raised issues of pollution and infrastructure overload, but surely these are not reason enough to shave off a technological breakthrough that will make owning a car into an affordable reality for millions. Visionaries must be allowed to give the world the benefit of their brave new vision as long as they do so with responsibility.

India's destiny of not being ranked as a Third World country has already been cast in stone, but we have some ways to go as our great nation responds to the call and accountability of high growth, and many things can slow us down — the biggest being the lack of a firm mandate by the powers to be — on a fast track, accountable and monitored investment in infrastructure, without which we will not keep pace with growth.

One thing is for sure: the destiny of India now lies with Young India. If Rang De Basanti screamed out to our youth "you can make a difference" then the Nano has once again told them "we can only think global now". As the pint size car makes its debut on the front papers, globally, it gives out an unmistakably spunky message worldwide: Watch out, here comes INDIA INC.

(Ronnie Screwvala is CEO, UTV Software Communications Ltd)