March 11, 2008

Knowledge Transfer

Recently talked to a former colleague, it was interesting to find out the slight different attitude towards knowledge and technology between Indian TATA and Chinese SAIC. TATA is in the process of acquiring Land Rover and Jaguar from Ford, and SAIC have already merged with NAC which acquired MG-Rover sometimes ago.

TATA has set up a European technical centre based in Warwick for a few years now. It is already in operation, and is constantly contributing towards the new product development back in India. In contrast, it seems besides changing the logo MG-Rover to NAC-MG. (and perhaps now to SAIC-MG) There is not much going on in the European technical centre of SAIC based in Leamington Spa. Actually this SAIC technical centre is largely based on Ricardo, and it is believed there still a lot of collaboration. This does not surprise me, as many Chinese domestic auto manufactures have to heavily rely on the technical know-how especially in the R&D area. However what surprise me is the strategy TATA took. Instead of collaborating with engineering consultancy, TATA chosen to collaborate with university. One of the goals set by the MD of TATA Motors European Technical Centre is to transform from acquiring know-hows to also know-whys. TATA choose the long-term goal of acquiring the capabilities of R&D instead of the obvious short-gains of specific technology. In a few years time, we probably would see how different strategies work out for each of them in products.

P.S. my ignorance, I didn't know CityRover was actually based on TATA Indica. There's already a difference shown in the strategy between TATA and SAIC/NAC back then.


- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. A guest speaker from TATA gave a presentation in one of my TM module’s sessions. It was quite intriguing how TATA manages its assets (be it knowledge or physical) across the globe since the company’s operations span to many entirely different field. What I also gathered from the presentation was, as you said, there is a strong trend for companies to leverage the burden of their knowledge management by collaborations with top universities. The most recent fruit of labour from these efforts is probably TATA’s newly introduced ultra low-cost “One Lakh Car”. It should be interesting to see what would come out of this trend setting product.

    15 Mar 2008, 16:21

  2. thank you luo. and please dont say sorry¡­ it was really really a happy experience. this blog is not a complaint about our team work, not at all¡­..actually i really enjoyed that time¡­and i need thank you, because your later new idea impressed me pretty much¡­.a lot of help for many things maybe¡­so thank you¡­i learnt a lot from you ¡­hehe

    18 Mar 2008, 14:30

  3. Turns out TATA’s management strategy for Mergers and Acquisitions(M&A) is based on Knowledge Management. I think you might find this interesting reads:
    [1] tata’s website N. Srinath,’ The integrated approach’, http://www.tata.com/
    -this talks about tata’s acquistion strategy with VSNL . their strategy revolves around enabling knowledge management
    [2] Ravi Arora and Rajiv R. Sinha, 2003, ‘Forging ahead with knowledge management’, Inside knowledge,
    posted 22 Jul 2003 in Volume 6 Issue 10
    -this talks about Tata’s Knowledge management strategy
    [3] Training Press Releases | www.trainingpressreleases.com, “Tata Interactive Systems outlines M&A
    integration strategy”, TATA Interactive Systems | London, UK, and Mumbai, India
    -this talks about Tata’s Knowledge management software Tata Interactive Systems (TIS)

    The company is rated as one of the best knowledge management companies in the world

    22 Mar 2008, 11:38


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