About the Blog

This is my diary....what I make sense of, around me. You'll find short prose on contemporary topics that interest me. What can you expect - Best adjectives? …. hmm occasionally, tossed around flowery verbs ?…. Nope, haiku-like super-brevity? … I try to. Thanks for dropping by & hope to see you again

June 29, 2009

From Nano to Jaguar: the mindspace paradox

Yesterday when the TATA’s announced bringing the Jaguars & Land Rovers to Indian roads, what struck me was their price tags , the former at a whopping 96 Lakhs! One aspect of Jaguar’s positioning & its pricing has been a novelty by itself, something that Indians are not familiar with. The novelty part being its attempted audaciousness in occupying the Indian consumer mind space, which has largely been so far ill defined for such high luxury products, thanks to our socialist mindset of the past 50 years . The difficulty I was grappling with in my mind was making some sense of the price as a result of this dilemma, where it is hard to figure out how to place a value on something in relative isolation. This is a problem that I often face when doing some window shopping in a high street shop or an upmarket shopping Mall. Is it the Indian ethos that has always been steeped in frugality or the socialist model and its left- of- the- center policies of this country that has firmly put a psychological lid on the mindset for such material luxuries? In my previous article I mentioned about the fact that a whole generation grew up on a steady diet of Fiats & Ambassadors – thanks largely to the Nehruvian -Mahalanobis model where the state decided on the limited choices we made; like we usually wore Binny textiles, drank Campa Cola and drove around in a Premier Padmini. Even watching some dull & drab documentary from I&B ministry in Cinema Halls was mandatory before the actual Movie screening. Even though we traveled a fair distance from that past maybe the hangovers are still there.

The quirkiness of this whole episode is that the same company (i.e, TATA) anchored the Indian mindset to the possibility of a Rs 1 Lakh car very recently. Can the Co , by any stretch of imagination bring about a sense of price relativity (inferring the value of product from the prices of similar offerings)& yet differentiate its offering in the Indian consumer mindset? The answer to that I may get when I get to see the Nano & Jaguar sharing the same showroom space.


Nona said...

I have tagged with the magic of four.


Vasant Prabhu said...

@ Nona - thanks for tagging me, am quite pleasantly surprised to find there in your magic list of four,Cheers.

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