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How Tata Ace has been fuelling Indians’ Atmanirbhar dreams

Since its launch in 2005, Tata Ace from Tata Motors has earned the reputation of an iconic vehicle, where it pioneered the small commercial vehicle (SCV) category in the country. The company recognised their SCV customers’ aspirations to become their own bosses and engineered Ace Gold to become the ‘Entrepreneurship Vehicle’. The company claims that since its inception, Tata Ace has been the trusted partner of more than 23 lakh entrepreneurs and is the single largest commercial vehicle brand in the country. 

In its latest campaign, which rolled out recently, Tata Ace Gold pays tribute to India’s business owners and showcases the opportunities for the youth of India in the last-mile delivery segment. The campaign embodies Ace’s spirit of self-employment and entrepreneurship with an inspiring message of taking charge of one’s future. The campaign features Bollywood actor and Tata Motors’ commercial vehicle segment brand ambassador, Akshay Kumar, and banks on ‘Aatmanirbharta’ sentiment. 

Building on the brand proposition of ‘Kaamyabi, Kal, Aaj Aur Kal’, the film is set against the backdrop of a difficult economic situation and growing unemployment among the youth, further encouraging the youngsters of India to work hard and look for opportunities as entrepreneurs. Establishing Ace Gold as the first step in the journey to success, the film features young and prosperous logistics business owner, Vijay, who traces his success back to his first Ace Gold. He passes on a stirring message to the new generation, who are underqualified in a highly competitive corporate environment and feel left behind. The film ends with Vijay attributing his accomplishments to Tata Ace Gold, a reliable partner in his journey. 

Conceptualised and developed by Rediffusion, the campaign has been rolled out across multiple channels as various digital platforms. It’s an extension of the brand’s philosophy, focused on showcasing the youth of India as change-makers and architects India – economically and socially. 

In an exclusive interview with Adgully, UT Ramprasad, Head of Marketing Communications, Tata Motors, shares his insight on the unique proposition of Tata Ace to help the youth of India turn entrepreneurs, regardless of their education and experience levels. He also speaks at length about self-reliance and the stability of the future that one can experience from becoming an entrepreneur. 

What is the legacy of Tata Ace since its launch in 2005?

The crux of the group was to give it back to society and launch it for the society.

The purpose is to provide a large number of masses with livelihood, especially to the middle class of our country. Bringing a four-wheeler on a cost of three-wheeler was because people in our country deserved it. Providing an advanced product by replacing the 1970’s technology was basically to liberate a common man from driving three-wheelers without any comfort or safety, where they can carry extra load, protect themselves and to pull up their status (respect in the society). The primary objective was not to make profit for the business, but to provide comfort at affordable prices. 

What were the challenges faced at the time of launch?

The challenge during that period was to target the group of audience (mass of India), who have the potential and willingness to secure their future and convince them to buy the product by choosing Tata Ace as their occupation.

People who are school dropouts or haven’t been able to complete their education due to different reasons, end up being a security guard, plumber, delivery man, etc. Even with ample number of choices, Tata Ace gave them the opportunity to be self-employed and purchase their own vehicle at an affordable price without waiting for their monthly increments and bonuses. An occupation, where one can be self reliant by just making the down payment and starting their own business. 

What was the potential that you saw? How did you zero in on your target segment?

Having the largest population is a serious concern for India. Of the youth of India below the age of 30 years, 70-80% are school/ college dropouts.

Thus, the largest and the youngest population in the world and lack of schooling, became the target segment to convince the unemployed masses, which are growing year-on-year and are entering the market with an enthusiasm of “Now I have to do something”. It could be because of peer pressure, family responsibilities or much more which made them a potential segment for Tata Ace, which could help build their future. Aspirations in life can be met by Tata Ace. Not being schooled or trained properly for jobs should not stop you from earning and having a good livelihood.

And that was the segment which we wanted to tackle in the fresh commercials that we launched. 

Could you tell us about your brand positioning as a market leader?

The launch of Tata Ace provided a four-wheeler without any compromise in terms of looks, appearance, style, comfort or performance and at the same had the price point of three-wheelers. It took us 6 years to come out with a product like Ace with a fair budget, which was the beauty of it.

In terms of safety, stability as well as respect, Tata Ace became affordable for a huge mass of India and continues to create employment opportunities for thousands. As PM Modi once said, ‘education or job limitations should not stop you from being an entrepreneur’.

The vehicle has been aptly engineered for maximising revenues by ensuring more trips, superior load carrying capability and a quicker turnaround time, meeting requirements of both rural and urban transportation. 

Has the first and second wave of the pandemic compelled the company to set fresh operational benchmarks?

Looking at the COVID-19 situation, the unemployment scenario is only becoming worse day by day due to organisations that are removing their employees on short notice, Not only Tata Motors, but all the companies have to set up fresh operational benchmarks and have reworked on the strategies to keep the engagement high and continuing with their set of audiences.

Everything has shifted to digital, for internal sales, marketing team and others. This is what is now going to be the future for all the organisations and everyone is prepared for the same.

(Edited and additional inputs by Shanta Saikia)

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