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Why Tata Motors believes branded experiences are critical to its electric vehicle journey

By Amit Bapna, APAC editor-at-large

February 5, 2024 | 6 min read

The automotive giant opens up on the road ahead for electric vehicle adoption in India and the role of branded experiences in building category consideration.

Tata Motors electric mobility playbook for 2024 and beyond

Tata Motors launches its category-first branded EV showrooms in India

It has been a stop-start journey for electric cars in India so far, with the high cost of vehicles and shortage of charging points among the factors stymying growth. But that’s changing fast. As per the India Economic Survey 2023 findings, the country’s domestic electric vehicle market is likely to see a 49% compound annual growth rate between 2022 and 2030, with 10 million annual sales by 2030.

The expected sales increase goes hand-in-hand with progress on regulatory and logistical fronts. This includes increasing consumer awareness towards EV usage, technological advancements, and supportive government policies that include financial aid packages to help subsidize and promote the adoption of clean energy vehicles in the country.

Enter Tata Motors, the pioneer in the Indian EV space and the largest player in the 4-wheeler EV segment with over 71% share and offerings that include Nexon EV, Tiago EV, Tigor EV, and the most recently launched Punch EV.

Tata Passenger Electric Mobility (TPEM) has now unveiled the category-first Tata.ev stores in Gurugram, near the national capital Delhi to enhance its proposition further.

The uniquely designed stores have been launched “to provide a differentiated and engaging experience for the EV community”, according to Vivek Srivatsa, chief commercial officer of TPEM.

Srivatsa cites the stores as a critical element of the brand’s marketing playbook: “Marketing in the EV category has the tough task of demand creation, which essentially means category creation as well,” he says. The task is to convert non-believers into believers and also convert the fence-sitters, he adds.

A look inside the branded store

The branded stores are an extension of the brand identity of the EV division of Tata Motors and a physical manifestation of the sales and service experience of the company.

Unlike a traditional 4-wheeler showroom, the specially designed stores have been built on the pillars of technology, sustainability, and personalization to provide an immersive experience to the fast-growing EV community, points out Srivatsa. “Brand design, retail design and store design have all come together in this journey,” he adds.

Historically, automobile showrooms have mainly been functional. In the just-launched stores, the focus is more on the ownership experience and journey of the customer.

Srivatsa, who has been involved in this project from the start, shares that the team was very clear about certain things. For instance, the showroom had to be a community space with dedicated coffee and children’s play areas. It had to have a lot of open space and bright lighting. The ambiance has been kept bright and cheerful, with many open spaces for a happy family visit. Kids also have ample places – they can sit and paint in the specially created community spaces or run around freely.

Interestingly, where to put the car inside the showroom came at the end since the overall experience was the primary concern, shares Srivatsa.

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The future of the EV category in 2024 and beyond

On progress for EVs from here, he says: “We want to have an all-India presence in the next 12-18 months, especially in those towns that have crossed the EV penetration threshold.” States like Kerala, Goa, and Gujarat have been very high share markets, and tier-2 cities like Coimbatore and Jaipur have also had promising penetration, he shares.

Srivatsa is very excited about the store as “it’s going to be the vehicle of our growth.” The company is selling 6000 vehicles per month, he shares, and there are three big launches lined up in the next 12 months. Against that backdrop, he says a branded showroom like this is critical to the growth journey and the story-telling.

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