Making a Blue Ocean Shift: Tata Ace captures a new market

Bindu Kulkarni (Strategy Group at S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, India)
Vasant Sivaraman (Strategy Group at S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, India)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Publication date: 4 July 2019



This paper aims to understand how organizations can apply the Blue Ocean Shift process to achieve profitable growth and make competition irrelevant.


This paper uses a case study approach. Based on interaction with the senior management of an organization and secondary sources, this paper presents an application of the Blue Ocean Shift process on a strategic move by an organization to achieve value innovation.


This paper presents a case of how Tata Motors Ltd. applied Blue Ocean Shift process to come up with the product Tata Ace, which achieved value innovation while making competition irrelevant. From assessing the current state of play to forming a motivated team, working with suppliers and fulfilling the needs of the non-customers and unhappy existing users, they were able to create a strong position for themselves.

Practical implications

Blue Ocean Strategy, through a process defined as Blue Ocean Shift, can be applied by organizations to achieve value innovation, change market boundaries and achieve profitable growth through their strategic offerings. It can help them get out of “red oceans” which may be a way to view the existing hypercompetitive world.


This paper contributes to the application of the Blue Ocean Shift process in the Indian context while studying a strategic move of an Indian firm. It showcases an example of how large Indian organizations can successfully apply the process to achieve value innovation.



The authors would like to acknowledge the role of Grish Wagh – Head of the Commercial Vehicle Business Unit at Tata Motors Ltd. – in the various stages of this work. This spans from an early-stage involvement in presenting the innovative launch of Tata Ace to a class taught by the authors to inputs in the final version of this paper. Pooja Mhapsekar, a Research Associate in the strategy group at the S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, supported this research in its early stages.


Kulkarni, B. and Sivaraman, V. (2019), "Making a Blue Ocean Shift: Tata Ace captures a new market", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.