Tata Looks to Public Transportation in Indonesia

Tata Looks to Public Transportation in Indonesia

By Muhamad Al Azhari on 10:43 am October 18, 2013.

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Tata Motors Indonesia president director Biswadev Sengupta with the recently introduced Tata Super Ace model. (GA Photo/Suhadi)

Tata Motors Indonesia, the local unit of Indian automotive giant Tata Motors, has announced it is eyeing a piece of the domestic small-engine commercial and public transportation vehicle market. The company’s planned Indonesian public transport and commercial foray follows the company’s introduction of passenger car models last month. “We feel that Tata Motors is well placed. With the right approach, we can provide good solutions [for Indonesia],” said Biswadev Sengupta, president director of TMI. The company, established a year ago, serves as the sole distributor of Tata Motors vehicles in the archipelago.Tata is the world’s fifth-largest truck producer and the fourth-largest bus producer. Its vehicles are sold worldwide, including in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, South America and Russia.

“There is good potential in the public transportation market,” said Biswadev on Thursday during a visit to Berita Satu media holdings.

TMI plans to introduce two products, the Tata Super Ace, an angkot – style micro-bus, and the Xenon pick-up by the end of November.

These two products were unveiled at the annual Indonesia International Motor Show last month in Kemayoran.

Biswadev urged the government to strongly encourage more people to use public transport, and said that he lives in accordance with his convictions.

“Do we need to use cars every day? For daily commuting from home to the office, or school, there should be good public transport. You use your cars for special occasions like going to a wedding or for leisure, that’s when I use my own car,” he said.

Biswadev added TMI has already been in talks with government agencies and public transportation operators including Jakarta’s transport cooperative, Kopaja.

Tata plans to modify its buses to fit the needs of the Indonesian market, Biswadev explained, saying TMI has been consulting with local truck and bus builders.

“It creates added local value. The chassis comes from India, but the entire body will be built here,” Biswadev said.

The company, which has so far opened five dealerships handling sales, service and spare parts, plans to increase its dealer network to 15 by March 2014, with 40 official maintenance workshops.

Biswadev admitted that the company faces competition from well-established car makers in Indonesia, but said he is confident the Indian-based firm will be able to confront the tough market.

Current public transport in Jakarta includes the widely used MetroMini and Kopaja minibuses, the TransJakarta bus network and the Jabodetabek commuter railway system.

These systems are widely viewed as inadequate, however, as millions of commuters experience heavy delays and congestion on a daily basis.

Meanwhile Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo on Wednesday morning donned his construction helmet once again to announce the recommencement of the city’s stalled monorail project.

“The project was abandoned for five years, so Alhmadulillah [thank God] we can start construction today,” he said. “The mission is to continue, and leave no more abandoned pillars.”

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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