nano_12That was my feeling when I saw an article this morning on the TOI. The fact that Tata Motors expects some 10 lakh bookings over a period of 2 months, especially considering the fact that their plants are too incapable of delivering the vehicles even over a timeframe of one year, one is left stunned, if not confused at the audacity of hope.

Now as per the data in the article, the Pantnagar factory has a capacity of 3000 Units per month, while the yet to be built plant at Sanand will be able to produce some 250,000 per annum. Even if the latter rolls out at its full capacity at an early date (which appears too unlikely), we can expect only some 23,000 Nanos rolling out per month. To meet the estimated current booking of 10 lakh, it would take some 43 months or more than three and a half years. And we have not considered further bookings in the next few years. It will keep Indians excited, but not too happy.

The Tatas have played their cards well. With a booking rate of 70,000 INR per nano, it will improve their cash flow position drastically at some 7,000 crore. Considering this amount interest free, it would mean that the company will suddenly have a lot of money to be put into good use. This is the strength of a densely populated country with high aspirations!

Two more things amused me. First that the bookings are being accepted not only at the dealerships, but also at some SBI branches as well. It reminds me of the distribution of entrance exam forms! Secondly, who gets the delivery will be decided by a lucky draw. Schools do enroll kids using this method. From sophistication, we are now getting at the basics!

Each of the first lot of Nanos will be a collector’s item. And they will also make way to the black market. We might even expect auctions for these. Documentation will be a mockery, thanks to our RTO officials’ speed to handle transfers.

The world is changing, so is India. With time, a lot of things have become plenty, while scarcity has hit many. The government must keep at watch at such disruptive innovations, and make and enforce laws accordingly.