New Delhi: After the one-lakh-rupee car, the Tata Group is now planning to launch affordable Nano houses that will cost just Rs 32000. This plan is aimed at the rural market and said to be ready by the end of 2012.
"It's a quick fit pilot built in 7 days. Essence is you should have a land. Pricing is based on a 20 sq mtr area with a flat root which comes for around 500 Euros. There is an upgraded model also which is 30 sq mtr which is under Indira Awaas Yojana and all which comes for 700 Euros," said Tata Steel Group chief, global research, Sumitesh Das.
The houses will be made in pre-fabricated, or 'prefab', format, under which the company will provide a kit consisting of roofs, doors, windows, etc, which can be erected or assembled.
"Similarly there are other models which may come with a solar panel on the roof of the house," Das added.
The 2001 census places the rural housing shortage figure in India at 1.48 crore and the situation may prove to be a big bonanza for the Tatas.
Giving details of the project, Das said by the end of this year, they will get feedback from all the stakeholders like manufacturers, suppliers and various Panchayats.
"In the first pilot project, we saw the interest of people in verandah which we have incorporated, though it was not there earlier. We thought if we incorporate verandah, the buying will be much higher. We need feedback from Panchayats, who are our final customers," he added.
He, however, refused to draw parallels between Nano car manufactured by Tata Motors and the Euro 500 house by Tata Steel, saying that the market segments are different.
Replying to a question on the challenges that the project might face Das said, "The main challenge it may face is supply chain management due to shortage of production of panels".
"We are in touch with Coir Board and Jute Board also. The pilot is also to see the supply chain arrangements. If a coir manufacturer cannot meet the demands, then we will have to think of some other product to replace. We have technology but we do not have entrepreneurs. That's what we are looking for, people who can invest and make products for us," Das said.
The life of the house will be 20 years at this stage and may go up as the research goes on, he added.