Grateful to PM Narendra Modi for giving Nano a home at Sanand in Gujarat: Ratan Tata

Written by PTI | Kolkata | Updated: Aug 7 2014, 05:46am hrs
Ratan TataShifting from Singur gave us a high negative cost, says Ratan Tata. (Reuters)
Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons Ratan Tata today termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a 'doer' and said he should be given more time.

"Modi has track record of being a doer. Gujarat is an example and one should go there to see it," Tata, who retired as chairman of Tata Sons two years back, said at an interaction organised by Ladies Study Group of Indian Chamber of Commerce here.

He said that since 1984, there was a paradigm shift in India's democracy with a political party getting single majority, unlike coalition government or a minority government.

But the government machinery had now shifted to "quick acting and growth-oriented (work) rather than government-oriented", Tata said.

"We should given them more time," he said.

Shifting from Singur gave us a high negative cost: Ratan Tata

Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons Ratan Tata today said shifting the Nano car plant from Singur in West Bengal was a prudent move in hindsight but gave the group a high negative cost.

"In hindsight, it was a prudent decision given the hostile circumstances in Singur. But that move gave us a high negative cost," Tata said at an interaction organised by the Ladies Study Group of Indian Chamber of Commerce.

Tata, who took the decision to shift the Nano plant from Singur in 2008, was the chairman of Tata Sons then and retired two years back.

"When we created the Nano, there was a lot of global excitement that a car could be offered at a price of USD 2,500 and three lakh orders with a waiting period of two years was induced."

"But it took another year because of the shift and there was a general disbelief generated about the car, while competitors got a chance to start bad-mouthing the Nano. By that time, much of the excitement was lost," he said.

Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Tata said he was grateful to him for giving Nano a home at Sanand in Gujarat.

Talking about West Bengal, he said he faced a serious problem (referring to Singur) which was not related to labour.

"We had to take the decision that we cannot operate in the hostile situation and had to move out the car factory to another state.

"You can pull the trigger of the gun or take it away. But the head will not move," he quipped.

Asked to comment on the change in the state compared to two years back, he said, "While driving from Rajarhat, it is unbelievable to see new buildings coming up. But it still looks like a countryside, undeveloped. I do not see much signs of industrial development."

I'm not cut-out for politics: Ratan Tata

Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons Ratan Tata today said he never considered politics in his life like his mentor JRD Tata and added that he was not cut-out for that.

"Like my mentor JRD Tata, I had never considered politics. I am not cut-out to be political person and will not venture into it. The water there is very very deep," he said at an interaction organised by Ladies Study Group of Indian Chamber of Commerce here.

Asked how he would be liked to be remembered, Tata said, "I would like to be remembered as somebody who had never hurt others and done work to the best interest of business."

E-commerce offers good potential for investments: Ratan Tata

Tata Sons Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata today said e-commerce is one of the areas where is he looking to personally invest because of its "good potential" as a large proportion of the country's consuming public do not have the required access to goods.

Tata, however, refused to comment specifically about any investments in e-retalier Snapdeal.

He said, "I do not think it is fair to comment on that."

"I plan to do personal investments and looking into a variety of areas to do that and e-commerce is one of them," he said.

The USD 3 billion Indian e-commerce market is witnessing aggressive competition from global giants as well as home-grown players. Led by increasing Internet penetration and youngsters shopping online, India's e-commerce market has seen huge growth in the past few years.

Tata said that given the country's large consuming public, people do not have the required access to goods.

"But e-retailing today is one of the hottest form of marketing and has a good potential in the country as 500 to 600 million people of the country are the consuming public", he said.

Last month, e-commerce giant Amazon said it will invest USD 2 billion in the country to grow the business in a market that is dominated by homegrown players like Flipkart and Snapdeal.

The US-based firm's announcement came less than 24 hours after rival Flipkart announced raising a whopping USD 1 billion funding, the largest in the e-commerce space in India.