Saturday, May 09, 2009

TATA Nano car and Shubh Griha housing project

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Image Courtesy:MorgueFile.These pictures are totally unrelated to TATA Nano and TATA’s housing projects.

On May 6th, 2009, Tata Housing Development Company announced the launch of its low-cost “Nanohousing project for people of low income in India.

It said that they were offering 283 sq ft, 360 sq ft and 465 sq ft flat at an affordable price of Rs 3.9 lakh-6.7 lakh INR. Prior to this, the low cost car, Nano, another TATA project was probably the most discussed political and business news at the end of 2008 and the start of 2009.

TATA is now practically everywhere in the Indian market- it is a brand we can’t do without. From automobiles, steel, software, retail, internet, science, to even salt, the brand TATA has spread its wings like no other Indian company. Kudos to Mr. Ratan for seeing beyond the zenith. I recall an interview I saw long time back on TV: Mr.Tata talked about how many thought Tata Indica would be a failure but he still decided to go with it. India got its “first indigenous car” with the launch of Indica and the rest is in the history books as an amazing success story.

But, with respect to the Nano projects, I am still wondering if I need to go for these two.

My opinion about the Nano car is that it will be great for city travel only. But, I am sure that in due course of time, all Nano owners will definitely hit the highway at a top speed of 80-95 km/hour. So, be prepared for all the chaos and accidents. I am not saying that Nano project will be a failure but a lakh extra to accommodate “necessary” safety measures and a speed of at least 110 km/hour(in driving conditions) would have suited my liking.

The same goes for the housing project. First, it is hard to identify low income people who can manage 6-7 lakhs. And secondly, it is definitely not the house for the middle class. How many of us would prefer to live in a 465 sq ft flat? A wise idea would have been to have to offer at least 1000 sq ft flat, at 10-12-15 lakhs INR.

But, having said that, I know that this project also will be a great success. India is blessed with an amazing population. It would require less than two percent of a billion folks* to fill these low cost houses. Many will also buy the apartments to rent it out or offer on lease.

From my perspective, as a prospective real-estate and automobile customer, I can see only one positive:-

This will influence real estate and car prices for people, who are ready to compromise on some aspects of our needs.

*I am lazy calculating stuffs, so its a rough estimation!

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