Tata Nano is disruptive social innovation

'That’s disruptive innovation. But I believe it will also turn out to be a disruptive social innovation. At the bottom half of India’s socio-economic pyramid, the Nano flattens the market. Suddenly lower- and middle-class buyers can afford mobility. Shiny new Nanos will literally create opportunities for Indians who previously did not have access to safe, reliable transportation. Mobility will beget upward mobility. For the bottom of the market, the Nano is empowering.

This empowerment will in turn broaden the minds of India’s elite at the skewed top of that pyramid. Let me elaborate a bit.

In business terms, Nano doesn’t directly threaten Mercedes, Audi and Toyota Lexus that cater to the top-of-the-pyramid buyers. But it does affect them. I bet this powerful new product, is already creating insecurity among the users of those luxury cars. How come? Well, visualize this scenario: India’s business execs, politicians, and Bollywood stars, who all ride chauffeured Benzes and Lexuses, will soon see their premium cars surrounded by shiny Nanos (instead of decrepit autorickshaws or clumsy bikers) whenever they stop at traffic lights.'

- Navi Radjou, 'India’s Mega-Disruptive Social Innovation? A Tiny Car'.

( Thank you, Prem.)


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