Wednesday, August 29, 2012

India and Venezuela

India and Venezuela.

Tell me one thing these two countries have in common.

You can't think of anything, can you?

India is on its way to "development", while Venezuela is still stuck in the 1970s. There are more than a thousand million Indians, while 40 million Venezuelans is too much to ask for. They don’t share language or religion; not even continents.

They do, however, share one same problem: scooters.
Scooters in India
Scooters in Venezuela
As I was reading and learning about the “Nano” initiative, I couldn’t but think of one particular picture I took last December. I was taking random pictures from my car window on my way to a friend's house, when suddenly I saw a family, a dad, a wife and a little baby smashed between the two, all together in a one-sit-only scooter. Ergo the picture.
Not surprising at all, I must say. 
You see, scooters back home are taxis, family vans, ice cream stands and even moving vans. Everything but scooters. I’ve seen people transporting mattresses on them, for God’s sake.
As there is no effective traffic control, or respect for the red light, highways and roads are the vivid example of what anarchy would look like. Horns, yells, Fs yous! and accidents everywhere at anytime. And apparently, it's not very different from what the Nanovation authors describe in India. It's common to observe scooters and cars competing against time and odds to see who goes through first. It is common for families to get run over (as delicate as it is) and act as if nothing happened. India and Venezuela, both, need an alternative to stop this madness.
Nanovation is a book that describes how a bold and crazy idea, like building a family car at the same price range of a scooter, developed and succeeded. Ratan Tata (the genius behind this idea), CEO of Tata Motors and the richest person across India, was the one able to pull this "Nano project" off.
Believe it or not.

Scooters in India and Venezuela, unlike in many countries, show how people are not able to pay for something safer with four wheels. The poverty and inflation in my country make it impossible for great part of the population to buy a car. Same in India.
Scooters in these two countries (and who knows how many more) are not fun, bold or adventurous. They are the result of a deep social crisis.
How much would I love to see a Nano in my country!
Somebody should go talk to Mr. Tata and take this tiny, but brilliant idea somewhere else.

If you would like to learn more about this Nano car, here's a video: