One of the most renowned andpowerful industrialists in the country, Ratan Naval Tata has a rich experience of almost60 years working at the Tata Group. The 82 Year old Scion of the Tata Familywas the chairman of major Tata companies like Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Teleservices, Tata Consultancy Services,etc., and continues to head the brand’s charitable trusts. Apart from scaling his company to new heights, Tata also pioneeredseveral reformative changes in the country. From his childhood days at the Tata Palace to hisvisionarymoves at the Tata Group, here’san overviewof his decades-long success story .
Childhood and Education
Tata was born on December 28, 1937 in Mumbai to one of the most affluent families in the country. His great grandfather was Jamsedji Tata, the Founder of Tata Group. For a majorpart of his formative years, Tatawas raised by his grandmother,Lady Navajbai, at theTata Palace. His parents had split while he was still a young boy. On the educational front, Tatapursued his higher studies at renowned American universities. Hedid his B.S in Architecture and Master’sin Structural Engineering at Cornwell University, and later pursued a Management course at the Harvard Business School.
Tata joined his family’s business entity Tata Group in 1962. His first job in the company entailed him working at the Tata Steel Division in Jamshedpur, wherein he supervised the factory workers. One of his first noteworthy achievements as a leader was as withNational Radio& Electronics Company Limited(Nelco).As a Director-in-Charge, Tata managed to successfully turn around the company andscale it to new heights.
Stewardship of Tata Industries
Tata went on to become the chairman of Tata Industries in 1991. He ushered in a wave of transformation for the brand, bringing about several reformsin its operations and dynamics. It was under his leadership that Tata Consultancy Services went public and Tata Motors was listed in the New York Stock Exchange. Furthermore, Tata was instrumental in the brand’s acquisition of Corus – an Anglo Dutch Steel and Aluminum produceras well as Jaguar and Land Rover brands from the Ford Company. These moves not only gave the brand international recognition and leverage but alsochangedthe dynamics of the Indian automotive scene at large.
The Brand’s Expansion Across Different Industrial Domains
The years between 2000-10 were a period of great expansion and growth for Tata Group. One of the most popular cars in the country, Indicawas launchedby Tata Motors in 1998.A brainchildof Mr. Tata,Indicawas widely renowned for being the first ‘truly Indian car’ in the market. Also, In the year 2000, the brand’s food division acquired the English Tea Brand, Tetley for 70 million pounds. Furthermore, in the fiscal year 2009 – 10, the group’s revenues grew nearly 12-fold, amounting to a staggering $67.4 Billion. Apart frombeing an effective chairman of the TataGroup,Mr. Ratanalsoserved on internationaladvisory boards of brands like Mistubishi, JP Morgan Chase, the Rolls Royce Group, to name a few. His versatility and dynamism can be attributed to suchdiverse roleshe took up during his stewardship.
Tata’s Professionaland Educational Achievements
Tata has amultitude of professional and academic accolades to his name. One of the most remarkable onesis the Padma Bhushan Award, which was given to him in the year 2000.He was also conferred multipledegrees from different universities across the globe, such as an honorary doctorate in business administration from Ohio State University and an honorary doctorate in Technology from Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok.
Tata’s Altruistic Endeavours
Tata is well-known for his devotion towards humanitarian ventures. Despite being such an integral part of the brand’s success, he owns less than 1% of the group and has a personal fortune of $1 Billion. Moreover, over two thirds of Tata Groupis owned by charitable trusts who finance altruistic causes. His generosity and goodwill towards fellow countrymen was evident during incidents like the 26/11 attacks, wherein he personally visited the families of all the 80 employees who were killed/injured. He also realized his vision of providing clean, affordable drinking water to all Indians by developing sub-Rs 1000 Water Purifier called ‘Swach’.The 560 mm unit was the product of 3 years of experimentation and refinement by some Pune-based designers. Furthermore, Tata led the development of several innovative product designs and technologies,such as theNano.The miniature car aimed toprovide a safe, cheap alternative to nuclear families commuting on two wheelers. Surprisingly enough, despite all his philanthropy and recognition, Tata has never been featured in the ‘Forbes Billionaire List’. This inconspicuousness may be attributed to his media-shy nature, since he’s a private person who’s known to have only CDs, Books, and Dogs for company.