Indian business tycoon showered with praise for riding country’s cheapest car

He was seen in a customised electric Tata Nano car

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Friday 20 May 2022 12:20 BST
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Ratan Tata, one of India’s biggest industrialists, was applauded on social media for travelling in the country’s cheapest car.

The 84-year-old chairman emeritus of the Tata Group was seen leaving the company-owned iconic Taj hotel in Mumbai city in a customised electric Tata Nano.

A video posted by paparazzo Viral Bhayani on Tuesday showed Mr Tata leaving the hotel in the car that was driven by his personal assistant Shantanu Naidu. He was also seen travelling without bodyguards.

Netizens were quick to shower praises on Mr Tata, who is known to be a generous and down-to-earth person.

“Hats off... Ratan ji... You are really a jewel [more] valuable than diamond. I admire your simplicity,” wrote Twitter user Annaji Sekhar.

Author Srijan Pal Singh, who called Mr Tata the epitome of humility, wrote: “Ratan Tata visits Taj Hotel in Tata Nano without bodyguards. He goes in for a dinner without any VVIP treatment. Saluting the simplicity and humility.”

Branded as the world’s cheapest car, the Nano was launched by Mr Tata’s group in 2009 with much fanfare, but it ceased production in 2019 following a sharp decline in demand.

With the burgeoning middle class as the target audience, the car was priced at Rs 100,000 (£1,035).

The custom Nano was reportedly gifted to Mr Tata by an electric vehicles powertrain solutions company Electra EV.

Mr Tata wrote on Instagram last week that the Nano was “always meant for all our people”.

“What really motivated me, and sparked a desire to produce such a vehicle, was constantly seeing Indian families on scooters, maybe the child sandwiched between the mother and father, riding to wherever they were going, often on slippery roads,” he wrote.

Describing the conceptualisation of the jelly bean-shaped car, he added: “One of the benefits of being in the School of Architecture, it taught me to doodle when I was free.”

“At first, we were trying to figure out how to make two-wheelers safer, the doodles became four wheels, no windows, no doors, just a basic dune buggy,” he said, adding: “But I finally decided it should be a car.”

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