It was out of the interest of Ratan Tata, Tata Group chairman, in the problem of water in India that the Swach (meaning “clean” in Hindi) was born. It was Tata’s bet that the private sector could offer a better, consumer-based solution than the state to the provision of safe drinking water in a country where 75% of the rural population lack access to potable water. In December 2009, the Tata Swach was launched by Tata Chemicals Limited as the lowest-cost storage water purifier available that met US Environmental Protection Agency standards, did not require a supply of running water or electricity, and was affordable to the rural masses.
The case highlights the development of the Tata Swach and its commercialization from 2009 to 2013. It lays out the competitive landscape and the challenges it faced from competitors and shifting consumer preferences. Enough data is provided to develop and support alternative viewpoints on how to go forward, highlighting the need to consider the entire business process from product development through commercialization for the success of a new product initiative. A major focus is the coordinated product development process that brings together the capabilities of independent business units within a conglomerate. Designed for MBA and executive audiences focusing on branding, competitive strategy, CSR, or new product development.
- Competitive strategy
- New Product Development
- Competitive positioning
- Emerging markets
- Social Innovation
- Corporate Social Responsibility