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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Disruptive innovation - Dare to Dream

Being a mechanical engineer I would like to start my blog on my passionate area - Cars… not about the animation film ‘cars’ by Disney - Pixar studios… but the real cars…


In this year’s Geneva auto show there was lot of attention on India and specially on Ratan TATA ..as nano is planning to enter into Europe with a high end version of the car called Nano Europa…there were lot of hope, hype and suspicion everything on the same place by the western media…..

Even two years before, I bet none would have even thought that there is a segment exists where such a low priced car will be welcomed all over the world and it is even possible to create a car for that price.. but TATA proved it.. and now the whole world is looking this as an example for distruptive innovation*…

At the same time there was display of our sister companies Jaguar and LandRover who are capturing the world on high end cars… ( should I call brother companies?..hmm, I leave it to you ).. One good thing to notice is that, Even amidst these economic situation, the whole automotive industry is looking optimistic that they will see green pastures by 2010 or at the latest early 2011. so they are betting their bets on right products which could sweep the market while it opens up…

Let me come back to nano… how does it fit in europe condition?.. there were lot of comments about that.. but my honest opinion is that, it is an ideal product for europe customers now.. being spent last few years in Europe, I would say that nano is getting well placed for the city drive segment.. people own volvo, saab, bmw etc for their long drives.. but inside the city, everyone is bugged by traffic, car parking issues.. mostly they park their car in some car parking areas and use the local transport to go around the city… think about someone who is working in the city? … he prefers bicycle now :)..

Daimler’s smart car has been a relief for city drivers for its size and similarly Suzuki’s swift has been popular in denmark… so nano is set to break in to this segment… even if it is priced 5000 euros, it is a good car for the city lovers… can TATA make it green nano.. it will be a hotcake for all over the western world.. the point to make here is, have anyone thought about this possibility two years before when TATA announced the ’nano’ release date?.. the answer is no.. but now no one stop thinking about it.. thats disruptive innovation*.. where the whole market has been shaken by an innovative product which changes the rules of the game.. because those 200 engineers have put their passion into this.. and have been asked not to limit their imagination…

I am not sure how many of us knows about this quote - ‘Cars - four wheeled laptops’ this has been shared by one of my customers to me.. you would agree with him if you see the developments in this space.. there are two areas which are more prominent now on cars.. one on fuel efficiency, green etc.. another one on electronic contents in a car.. the whole world is spending money in developing systems to enable the driver or the owner to enter into a car automatically, waking up a driver if he is dizzy or not in a condition to drive, drunken driver alert, collision avoidance, driving through narrow streets automatically, etc.. it might be a surprise for few of you that in TCS we do design some of these futuristic products, systems for our customers.. Our engineers from EIS Automotive embedded systems team in pune and bangalore would love to talk about them…. Can we say they are part of sustaining innovation* for Automotive industry? .. I strongly say ’yes’…

Think of a scenario where the car door automatically opens when you are near the car, asks for an address to go and take you there without any driver.. it recognizes your voice, navigates through GPS, finds the location and takes the best possible traffic route and takes you there at the exact time when you want.. if you are hungry on the way, it can drop you in the restaurant on the way… sounds like a futuristic car in next james bond movie? Dont be surprised if you see such a car in 2015 Geneva auto show .. Will it be possible to have it next to TCS billboard ?……..

*please refer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_technology for definitions and more details

Courtesy: TCS Portal

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