December 28, 2012

New Birthday of Ratan Tata

Ratan Tata was born into an old Parsi family of Bombay (present-day Mumbai), the first child of Soonoo & Naval Hormusji Tata. Ratan's childhood was troubled, his parents separating in the mid-1940s, when he was about seven and his younger brother Jimmy was five. His mother moved out and both Ratan and his brother were raised by their grandmother Lady Navajbai. He was schooled at the Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai.
In 1962, after graduating from Cornell University with a degree in Architecture and Structural Engineering, Ratan joined the family business. Ratan turned down a job offer from IBM, following the advice of J.R.D. Tata, and entered the family business. Ratan joined the Tata Group in December 1962, when he was sent to Jamshedpur to work at Tata Steel. He worked on the floor along with other blue-collar employees, shoveling limestone and handling the blast furnaces. In 1971, Ratan was appointed the Director-in- Charge of the National Radio & Electronics Company Limited (Nalco), a company that was in dire financial difficulty.
Ratan suggested that the company invest in developing high-technology products, rather than in consumer electronics. J. R. D. followed Ratan's suggestions. From 1972 to 1975; Nalco eventually grew and recovered its losses. In 1977, Ratan was entrusted with Empress Mills, a textile mill controlled by the Tatas. When he took charge of the company, it was one of the few sick units in the Tata group. Ratan managed to turn it around and even declared a dividend. In 1998, Tata Motors introduced his brainchild, the Tata Indica.
On January 31st, 2007, under Ratan Tata's chairmanship, Tata Sons successfully acquired Corus Group, an Anglo-Dutch steel and aluminum producer. With the acquisition, Ratan Tata became a celebrated personality in Indian corporate business culture. The merger created the fifth largest steel producing entity in the world. Ratan Tata was honored by the Government of India with the Padma Bhushan on 26th January 2000, on the occasion of the 50th Republic Day of India.
He serves in senior capacities in various organizations in India and he is a member of the Prime Minister's Council on Trade and Industry. In March 2006 Tata was honored by Cornell University as the 26th Robert S. Hatfield Fellow in Economic Education, considered the highest honor the university awards to distinguished individuals from the corporate sector. He recently received an honorary doctorate from the London School of Economics and listed among the 25 most powerful people in business named by Fortune magazine in November 2007.
Ratan Tata is indeed a visionary and has made India proud. With novel ideas like the Tata Nano Priced at a lakh only, more people can afford to buy a car. He has played a very important role in helping increase the standard of living of the common man. The future of India is bright with leaders like Ratan Tata showing the way to success.

The company headed by Tata has almost single-handedly built Indian industry. Initially mill owners, the group now includes India's largest software house and one of its most prestigious hotel chains (the Taj), as well as steel and car production. The success of the Tata Group, India's largest conglomerate, is largely down to Tata's courageous and principled management strategies, and yet Ratan himself does not appear on any rich list; the Tata family owns just one per cent of the holding company.


Early business failures in the Tata Group's  electronics and mill interests did not mark Ratan out for a starring role. Indeed, when he succeeded his uncle, J.R.D. Tata, as chairman in 1991, few expected the group to survive the challenges of liberalization. By trimming the group's 300 "fiefdoms" and removing managers who didn't share his "global not local" vision, Tata reinvented the company.


Today, the Tata Group has the largest market capitalization of any business house of the Indian Stock Market. His ambitious global acquisition spree began in 2000 with the takeover of Tatley Tea. The 2007 purchase of Anglo-Dutch steel gaint Corus for $13 billion was the biggest takeover of a foreign company by an Indian corporate, marking his arrival as a truly global player.

"Mr Tata encourages us to take big, calculated risk" 
- Ravi Kant, managing director, Tata motors

It is often said that Tata's heart is in the motor industry. Famously media shy, Tata was propelled into the spotlight in 2008 with his bold takeover of prestige British brands Jaguar and Rover, a move that was branded as "reverse colonialism". In 1998 he launched the Indica, the first totally Indian car. With typically unwavering belief in his project to create a people's car, Tata proved skeptic wrong in 2008 with the launch of the "one lakh" ($2,150) car, the Tata Nano.

Under Tata's leadership, the group has set a standard for corporate responsibility. As well as providing housing, education and medical care to employees, the company ploughs over two thirds of profits into trusts that finance good causes. Unusually in India, the company is known to be incorruptible.


Audacious, degnified and philanthropic. One of Tata's first principles in business is to be bold but to "do no harm".


Tata believes passionately in using his company's growth for the betterment of his employee's lives and the community at large. He believes the company's long-term position and influence depend on this approach, and that shareholders will prosper in such a regime.
  • Avoid all corrupt activities even when times are difficult and temptation is high.
  • Obey your instincts when they tell you that what you are being offered is too good to be true.
  • Make sure your company listens to the community around it and contributes to its well-being.

The ability to think globally. Tata has transformed a lumbering, bureaucratic, Empire-rea conglomerate into a dynamic world player.

Deciding that Tata Group should make its own cars. Critics said it was vanity project, but Tata Motors is now India's second biggest car maker. 

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