Millions of words have been spoken and written about the Tata Nano. The much awaited Rs. 100,000 car. This was exhibited for the first time in the Auto Expo a few days ago. What about the team behind this achievement?
I am delighted that media and his organization have given due credit to 37 year old Girish Wagh and his team at Tata Motors. I am pleased that Tata Motors have given Girish Wagh the exposure to talk to the press and appear on many TV channels, because it was primarily his team’s efforts that led to the Tata Nano.
When he first joined Tata Motors 16 years ago, Girish Wagh had no idea he would one day head the company’s now-legendary Rs 1-lakh car project. Although he was part of the Indica vendor development team in 1997, Wagh was actually reluctant to get into full-scale product design with the Ace.
He remembers how Tata Motors MD Ravi Kant hand-picked him for the job and convinced him that it was as important as the work he was doing with the company’s excellence group. That was December 2000. The Ace rolled out in May 2005 and almost singlehandedly helped beat a recession in the commercial vehicle space. Impressed by his ability to deliver under tight deadlines, chairman Ratan Tata and Ravi Kant decided to move Wagh to the small car project in August that year.
Girish’s story is typical of many bright young Indians. Given the right environment and support they can turn in excellent performance. I am sure his example will be a motivating factor for many young engineers .