July 2015 | Nithin Rao

A healthy obsession

In an industry segment changing at warp speed, Tata Motors' passenger cars division is pulling out all the stops to entice and please the most important character in the show - the customer

Mayank Pareek, president, passenger vehicles business unit, Tata Motors, is convinced that customer centricity will define survival and leadership for the business in the times to come. “Customer centricity is everything now,” he says. “No business in the automobile sector will succeed if it is not centred on customers.”

Watch the video to know more about why Tata Motors customers become attached to their cars
Seeking customer feedback and ensuring that the feedback percolates through all departments, including product and service development, quality improvement and research and development, has become a set process at the passenger vehicles division.

The manufacturing capacity in the Indian automobile industry today is two to three times more than demand. With product and technology convergence across the industry, the differentiator that sets apart a manufacturer is customer orientation. “I would replace customer delight with customer obsession,” says Mr Pareek. “Only companies that are completely aligned to customers and obsessed with them will succeed. That is why customer centricity has become the core of our operations.”

A key learning for Tata Motors has been that the customer is the most ruthless teacher. With awareness about emerging trends high among customers, many automakers who got older designs from abroad and launched them in India found to their dismay that customers here want the latest products. “Quality is a hygiene factor,” explains Mr Pareek. “They expect and demand world-class quality. You cannot experiment with it.”

Customer view
Last year, when I decided to buy a new car and I had a budget of about Rs450,000. I looked at different cars but opted for a Tata Zest. The Tatas make good and sturdy cars. I’m happy with the Zest; I find genuine pleasure driving it.

— Varun Vishwanath, a Mumbai-based marketing professional

This is a shortened version of the main article, which is part of the cover story about the customer-centricity culture of the Tata group featured in the July 2015 issue of Tata Review. Read the complete article here >>
Chairman's message on customer centricity at Tata
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