Managing Local Political Risk, Parking the Tata Nano (C)

By Saumitra Jha, Debra Schifrin
2012 | Case No. P78C
Managing Local Political Risk: Parking the Tata Nano highlights the role of political geography in shaping risks to businesses. The case has three parts: an (A) case, (B) case, and (C) case. The (A) case is set in 2006 and discusses the decision Tata Motors must make about where in India to locate a manufacturing plant to build the Nano – the world’s cheapest car. The (A) case presents four possible locations, and the students must evaluate which location would be the best and defend their decision. The locations are: 1. Sanand in the western state of Gujarat 2. Pantnagar in the northern state of Uttarakhand 3. Singur in the northeastern state of West Bengal 4. Kharagpur in West Bengal The (A) case provides relevant features about each city, incentives each one is offering Tata Motors, and the political landscape of each city and state and India as a whole. The case also presents the history of religious and separatist violence in each region. Exhibits include statistical comparisons (including population, religious breakdowns, GSDP, etc.); a map of city locations; incentives; and results of elections in each city. Students are also asked to evaluate why Tata would aim for - and want to advertise – a national geographical presence in manufacturing. The (B) case is about Tata’s choice of city, and the serious problems with residents, politicians, and activists that arose from that decision – all of which led to a crisis. The end of the (B) case asks students whether Tata should try to resolve the crisis or walk away from the $300 million investment it has already made in the plant. The case also asks students about the role of geography in the escalation of the crisis, and whether Tata could have anticipated the crisis. The (C) case discusses Tata’s decision regarding the plant and updates the situation through 2012. Available for purchase from European Case Clearing House and Harvard Business Publishing, link provided below.
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