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Abstract

Tata's Nano, the cheapest car in the World (priced at around USD2,200), gave some additional brand recognition to the Tata group. Many people, however, are still not aware of just how big and powerful the Tata group really is. Employing over 540,000 people and with sales in excess of USD96 billion, the Tata group, based in India, though with close to two thirds of its sales coming from outside India, is an example of innovation, entrepreneurship, and successful internationalisation, despite its size (made up by over 100 companies in seven different business sectors). The case discusses the Tata group of companies, its CEO, its tradition (being over 140 years old), and how it has introduced new terms such as 'frugal innovation', 'frugal engineering' and 'frugal marketing' to the management literature. The case also discusses the depressed euro zone area and how Tata Steel, for example, may have to seek solutions which may involve taking an impairment charge (writing off goodwill), emphasising manufacturing competitiveness (eg layoffs), as well as spending money on infrastructure (eg investing in manufacturing equipment).

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Abstract

Tata's Nano, the cheapest car in the World (priced at around USD2,200), gave some additional brand recognition to the Tata group. Many people, however, are still not aware of just how big and powerful the Tata group really is. Employing over 540,000 people and with sales in excess of USD96 billion, the Tata group, based in India, though with close to two thirds of its sales coming from outside India, is an example of innovation, entrepreneurship, and successful internationalisation, despite its size (made up by over 100 companies in seven different business sectors). The case discusses the Tata group of companies, its CEO, its tradition (being over 140 years old), and how it has introduced new terms such as 'frugal innovation', 'frugal engineering' and 'frugal marketing' to the management literature. The case also discusses the depressed euro zone area and how Tata Steel, for example, may have to seek solutions which may involve taking an impairment charge (writing off goodwill), emphasising manufacturing competitiveness (eg layoffs), as well as spending money on infrastructure (eg investing in manufacturing equipment).

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