Nano Accessory

Tata Nano  Time was when people were riled by their rides. Public transport in India is no joie de vivre. Time will be when they may get pride in their rides. Tata’s new automotive wonder may not truly be a tall boy but it surely is stirring some tall tales. Walk out on to the main street and you would see several ingenuous, sinuous minds at work doodling out ways and means to adapt the new Nano to suit their needs.

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The no-frills car, Nano, is the expression of India’s jugaad (manage) mindset on fourwheels. Jugaad, the indigenous motor vehicle used mostly in rural India, would now find plenty of opportunities to manifest itself, and in many ways. Nano buyers can expect the market to be flooded with equally cost-effective ways to accessorise and adorn their first car.

But before venturing into that lane, let’s look at the markets that Nano have opened or is likely to uncover. It would bring in a new segment of customers on board and, hence, lead to new business opportunities to cater to them.

A taxi driver in Mumbai when asked why he was not changing his car replied by saying that he was waiting for the Nano, even if it takes giga years. “I can install CNG in it and in no time I will cover the lakh I have invested in it.” Where will the CNG fit in? “That can be worked out,” he says with a shrug. “It can come in the boot and the luggage can go onto the roof after some improvisations.”

That’s not all. Like Maruti 800 in the eighties, Tata Nano is expected to spawn a new range of auto repair shops and accessories. “There was a euphoria around the Maruti 800 launch, which was manifested in drowning the car in affection with stickers and what not. I don’t think it would be manifested in the same way in case of Nano. It would, however, lead to more opportunities around accessorisation and entertainment for such car users,” said Future Brands chief Santosh Desai.

But apart from markets it is at the individual level that the Indian imagination works attentively. The local milkman has already started thinking of holders on the side of the car for his milkcans. The curbside Chinese joint is thinking of turning mobile via the Nano. The laundryman is thinking of collecting dirty linen using the Nano.

Business in the daytime, leisure with family in the evenings. From a small car the Nano is likely to be converted into a Multi-Utility Vehicle.

How about some entertainment or some relief from the baking sun? Do what bus drivers do. They hang their radio’s from the rearview mirror or keep them in the dashboard. Nano surely has room for the FM or MP3 players, particularly the ones coming from China. Manufacturers of FM radios and other cheap music systems can look forward to some good harvest.

Don’t be surprised if you see buyers resorting to ethnic chic (grass mats) which could be wetted and hung in the window for keeping the car cool. India, after all, developed the method of car cooling for railways using these same mats that were kept wet through a semi-automatic method during the British rule in the 1870’s. Such mats can be bought for a measly sum from the streets.

Available for as low as Rs 10 on the streets, these could find many buyers with the launch of the Nano. Says PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Abdul Majeed, “One has to see what the final Nano would be like. However, there is no doubt that the car would fuel the growth of car accessories market. It would also challenge accessory-makers to offer cost-effective and innovative solutions for the car.” Most auto-analysts do believe that there could be a dedicated set of cost-effective accessories that are likely to be launched once the car is launched around Diwali.

Expect to hear more Hindi movie songs as back-up alarms. Nano users are unlikely to give these a miss, considering they don’t make a hole in the pocket and Indians do like a personal touch in their vehicle. “With the emergence of a new consumer class, distilled spaces will become viable retail properties. All sorts of eating out formats will come up, even drive throughs,” says Mr Desai. Street food could stand to be the biggest gainer. It won’t be surprising to see more Chinese meal vans selling chowmein as well as more roadside golgappa stalls.

More cars on the roads mean more pollution. So, a better market for those selling anti-pollution masks. As Nano puts many behind the wheels, it would also keep several environment activists on their toes. And if you dread the day when bumper to bumper means Nano to Nano then lay your fears aside.

It would be quicker and less hazardous to make your way forward via the rooftops of the stuck Nanos. Hop, skip and Nano-office. Don’t forget to welcome the new words and phrases that is likely to make way into the lexicon and parlance: Nanoh!; Na na, no no; Nanofied; Did you Nano today?; What a Nano?; and children will fashionably call their grandparents Nano instead of Nana.


About speakindia
Speak India is a medium to foster debate on current issues concerning the "Aam Admi". Feel free to comment and share your point of view on Speak India.

2 Responses to Nano Accessory

  1. Pingback: Marketing the NANO « SPEAK INDIA

  2. Mark says:

    I started a third party forum to discuss Tata vehicles in detail, including the Nano. Eventually, you will be able to come here to discuss working on, finding parts for and modifying Tata vehicles.

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