We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made! -Albert Einstein
In 1619, Sir Thomas Roe was given the right by the Mughal Emperor to establish a British factory in India. For the next 300+ years the British maintained an imperial presence in India. I leave it to others more knowledgeable than I to debate the intricacies of Britishin India.
In 1935, the name Jaguar Motors was given to an older firm that had been built by two motorcycle enthusiasts. The Jaguar brand became synonymous with the United Kingdom following World War II. The Rover Company in England also expanded after World War II, developing the Range Rover and Land Rover – again, two vehicles that became icons of the U.K. following the war.
If we could go back in time and ask, do you think anyone in 1935 England would predict that Jaguar Motors would become the property of former colonists? In 1948 did the Rover Company believe that someday former subjects of the Empire would be running the show? That is what happened when Ford Motors bought Jaguar in 1989 and Land Rover in 2006. Now, Tata Motors, the Indian car company that offers the cheapest car on Earth has struck a deal with Ford to purchase Jaguar Land Rover for $2.3 billion in cash to be closed by next quarter.
Pundits and journalists have been discussing the rise of India as a world economic power for over a decade. Certainly, the growth of back-room and programming services as a $60 billion industry in India has been at the forefront of these discussions. But, to me, there is something more solid about the cash purchase of a significant manufacturing company that makes the rise of the Indian economy more real. Tata Motors cannot be dismissed as twenty-first century Yugo as some would like. We live in a global economy and today's announcement brings that idea home to many. Including me.