I happened to be at a lecture cum interaction by none other than the CEO of Nissan-Renault Alliance, Carlos Ghosn in Chennai on 18th March 2010. Having read a lot about him and having read his book ‘The Shift’ way back in 2006, I was really very keen to see and hear the great man himself. One of the boons of living in IIT Madras campus.
True to expectation, the ‘Cost Cutter’ did not disappoint anyone. He was witty, sharp and fully there.
I had read earlier that he was very good with numbers and he gave a vivid demonstration of the that by rattling back whatever the Director of IIT Madras, Dr Ananth had told him few minutes back(So many lakhs sat in JEE, only so many got selected, so many boys, so many girls etc). Some samples from the Q&A.
Q: You have so many alliances in India? What is the strategy behind them? It seems to be so confusing!
A: All the alliances have a specific purpose which is different from another. The Indian market is so much unlike any other market. We are learning from all our partners and it is like having so many teachers teaching you different you aspects of the market. Like you have a teacher to teach you physics and another to teach you math and so on. Do you get confused by having so many teachers?
Q. The Indian government is not giving subsidy on electric cars..
A: The fact is that vehicle type adoption is largely governed by what the governments want to let happen in their markets. That’s why you have diesel vehicles in Europe and none in US and Japan. I would expect the electric cars to take market first in USA, EU and Japan. Remember, we are talking the same about just 10 % electric vehicles market after 20 years. That leaves out 90% and there is tremendous scope for evolution of technology.
On the whole, it was a great event. The only disappointment was NDTV’s Siddharth, who was looking very handsome indeed, but that’s about it.
Helpful Link: My review of Mr. Ghosn’s book ‘The Shift’.