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Susan Ward

The Vision Statement of Tata Motors & Yours

By August 14, 2013

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"What's the vision statement of Tata Motors?" T.J. asks. "And how did they come up with it?"

When I first answered this question for T.J. in 2010, the vision statement of Tata Motors Limited, India's largest automobile company, was to be "best in the manner in which we operate, best in the products we deliver, and best in our value system and ethics" - a vision statement I criticized on two grounds;

Create a business action plan.

1) it's rather meaningless. Chanting "We want to be number one" would be just as inspiring; and

2) it's not a vision statement at all, but a mission statement.

What's the difference? A mission statement articulates a company's purpose. It announces to the world at large why your company exists.

A vision statement focuses on a business's future; it articulates your dreams and hopes for your business.

Think of it this way; a mission statement answers the question "Who are we?" and the vision statement answers the question "Where are we going?"

Since then, however, Tata Motors has gotten their act together and has come up with a distinct mission and vision statement that follow the rules:

Their mission statement: "to be passionate in anticipating and providing the best vehicles and experiences that excite our customers globally."

Their vision statement: to be "most admired by our customers, employees, business partners and shareholders for the experience and value they enjoy from being with us".

(By the way, obviously mission and vision statements are not the only things that Tata Motors gets right. The company had consolidated revenues of USD 34.7 billion in 2012-2013. Read more about Tata Motors here).

Businesses need both mission statements and vision statements, the first to inform the public and the latter to inspire themselves.

Does your small business have a mission statement and a vision statement? These resources will help you write one or both if you need to or give you sample mission statements and sample vision statements you can compare yours to to see if yours needs a little sprucing up.

Writing a Mission Statement or Vision Statement

Sample Vision Statements and Mission Statements

And More Samples

Image (c) Tim Robberts / Getty Images

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August 30, 2010 at 3:05 am
(1) Mukund says:

As I understand, the meaning of the terms Vision and Mission are used interchangeably in the context of strategy.

I think, thats why the difference for Tata Motors. Am I right?

August 30, 2010 at 1:39 pm
(2) Susan Ward says:

Sort of, Mukund. Companies certainly do use the terms interchangeably. However, vision and mission statements have different purposes, and within the organization at least, would be articulated differently.
And, as vision statements are not necessarily shared with the public, Tata may well have a separate vision statement.

August 30, 2010 at 9:52 pm
(3) Hay Shah says:

I am confused. Tata Motors Vision statement that is shown here does say what they aspire to be, a dream which may or not may not be achieve – hence aspiring and hence a Vision.

Mission has to say, as you pointed out why they exist, deals with something that they produce – in their case vehicles and their statements does not say anything about automobiles hence I feel it is not a mission statement.

Kennedy’s – to put a man on the moon was it a vision or mission?

August 30, 2010 at 11:37 pm
(4) Susan Ward says:

Hello Hay; this is a fabulous example of a statement that could be both as in this case, the mission and the vision are identical – but that’s rare.

A vision statement is a picture of the future, where the creators of the vision statement want the company to get to or what they want it to achieve, usually in a specific time frame, such as five years from now…

And generally, they tend to be much more specific and less sanatized than mission statements. For instance, the vision statement of Tata Motors might be to take over 50 percent of the North American car market by 2015 and kick the you-know-what out of their competitors Ford and Toyota. I’m not saying it is; just that it could be. Notice how much more specific it is than the mission statement.

Also, note that mission statements don’t have about or even mention the products of the company involved. For instance, the mission statement of Canadian Tire, as I point out in my mission statement definition, reads (in part): “Canadian Tire is a growing network of interrelated businesses… Canadian Tire continuously strives to meet the needs of its customers for total value by offering a unique package of location, price, service and assortment.”

And you don’t want to be misled by thinking of vision statements as dreams. They’re more targets than dreams, as to be effective, they had to be within the realm of possibility. Otherwise, the founder, the board, the stakeholders, the staff won’t be able to “believe” in it…

October 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm
(5) Rahul says:

Tata Motors is more than 60 years old and is one of the top five car manufacturers in the world. They know the difference between a mission and a vision statement so stop analyzing. I guess Ratan Tata was a very smart man!!!

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