Mayank Pareek, a 20-year-Maruti veteran takes the helm at Tata Motors at a time when the carmaker is at a delicate phase in its plan to revive its India passenger car business. Over a year after its Horizonext strategy was launched and with the Zest sedan having just made its debut, Pareek has his work cut out.
India’s car market has shown an uptick in recent months, and the festive season looks set to bring in numbers. So Tata’s products will certainly benefit from a festive wave but what about the way forward? What must Pareek actually do to achieve the ambitions of Horizonnext, and bring Tata Motors back in the reckoning?
Here are five key challenges for Tata’s new man in the hot seat.
Revive the brand: This is Pareek’s most significant challenge. The brand has not lost its cache despite many customers thinking that it is a taxi segment car, and so do not want to own one. But the brand has to be brought back to its former glory, and that’s not easy. Tata currently does not really have a marque that it can do a little song-and-dance about. The Zest has not quite got the markets abuzz but then Tata has several products lined up. It has got to get its customer-connect back in an increasingly cut-throat market.
Take good care of sales and aftermarket: Good aftermarket and sales can do the trick to spread the good word about a brand. And Tata has not scored top marks here. All talk about lifecycle ownership but few walk the talk. Pareek will have to take good care of this and if he could replicate some of what Maruti does in this department, perhaps, it could work like magic.
Take a hard look at the Nano: The Nano promised much but didn’t quite deliver. It has even been said that the Nano should be withdrawn. Now it’s been positioned a smart city car but will that help, it’s not easy to say. New players such as Renault are entering the segment and will offer cars that give a lot more than the Nano. Should Tata take a leaf from what Mercedes did with the Smart in the EU offering it to small companies, courier outfits perhaps or starting a rent-a-Nano?. Some innovative ideas to get the numbers is imperative.
Energise the troops: Now, I’m not suggesting that no one wants to work with Tata. But successful brands create a buzz that draws in and refreshes talent, a scarce commodity in our times. Working for a brand that is seen as prestigious helps. Employees are all brand ambassadors for a company, and that helps.
Look for synergies with CVs, new markets: This may seem like a no-brainer but Tata Motors’ have a cache in the real Bharat. While most companies are looking to tap the Tier 1 and Tier 2 India, one hasn’t seen that kind of efforts from Tata, but now’s the time. Pareek has some insights here that he could implement to the benefit of his new employer.