Should I give the same advice that I gave to IBM or Cisco to configure and coordinate its value chain to prosper in this environment to Tata or Air Tel?
This is a hard question. It really depends on what you said to IBM and Cisco. If you told them to cut unnecessary costs, then that would be good advice for all companies. If you told them to seek innovative ways to make their work flow more efficient, then that is good advice as well.
With that said, you need to realize that these are different companies, especially Tata. Air Tel is still within technology and communications, but Tata is a car company. There is another great difference, IBM and Cisco are American companies; Tata and Air Tel are Indian companies. This later point make a huge difference.
As you know, India has an incredible domestic market. They have over one billion people. So, they should advertise heavily to reach their own people. In addition, as the world get poorer through this economy, I think they have the ability to reach other markets with reliable smaller cars, which Tata is known for. Also as oil prices rise, smaller fuel efficient cars will sell more units.
As for communications, they should also try to partner with other countries and start bidding for contracts. Since, their standard of living is lower in India, they can be competitive. Moreover, some of the greatest technology minds are in India.