Everyone is aware of who Ratan Naval Tata is. This Famous Indian businessman has been honored with Padma Bhushan and Padmavibhushan. He is known for his philanthropy service, a vision to make India stronger & better, and his strong business ethics. He served as a chairman for 21 long years to the Tata Group and was the reason behind the increased revenue of the companies. Not only is he a successful entrepreneur but also one of the greatest deities who has inspired a lot of people in the world with his success stories.
Ratan Tata Education and Early Life
Ratan Tata was born in Surat, a city in Surat on December 28, 1937. Despite being the son of Naval Tata, Ratan Tata is not a direct descendant of the Tata Family. He was adopted by Navajbai Tata, his grandmother, from J.N Petit Parsi Orphanage. His childhood was not great despite being from a capitalist family and even his parents were separated when he was just 10 years old. Both Ratan Tata and his younger brother Jimmy were raised by his grandmother but moved to Mumbai, for higher studies. Ratan Tata’s educational background is very strong. He did his schooling at John Connon School in Mumbai and Bishop Cotton in Shimla respectively. He graduated from Riverdale Country School in the city of New York and received an Architecture degree from Cornell University. He even attended an advanced management program at Harvard Business School.
The Beginning of His Career
The Initial Years of Ratan Tata’s Career
After coming back to India post his masters, Ratan Tata had an offer from IBM for a business that he denied. His first challenge was to save Empress Mill, which was a textile Industry owned by Tata. This mill was in a major financial crisis but Ratan Tata gave his best to not repeat the mistakes. In 1962, he joined the Tata Group in Jamshedpur to give a try to shop floor at Tata Steel. In 1971, Tata became the director of National Radio and Electronics Co., which is a part of the Tata Group. When Tata joined the company, it was in dreadful condition with a lot of misfortunes. He turned the business upside down and made it profitable. The customer piece of pie which was 2 % earlier became 25%. But both NELCO and Empress Mill had to shut down because of financial issues and lack of investments.
The Career Challenges Faced by Ratan Tata
One of the greatest challenges began when Ratan Tata became the chairman of Tata Group succeeding his uncle, Jamshedhji Tata. The senior management and employees of the company were not happy and confident about Ratan Tata taking up the status because he not being able to save NELCO and Empire Mills in the past. But, he did not pay attention to the criticisms and proved everyone wrong by taking some major decisions. He decided to set a retirement age for the senior management as he wanted to welcome the youth with creative and fresh ideas. In 1992, when the New Economy Policy was in action, he decided to invest in newer technologies to attract Foreign Direct Investments. He was the one who decided to set up Tata Consulting Service, which today has a global presence. He invented cars like Indica and Nano, which middle-class families could afford.
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A Step Towards Making Tata an International Brand
Under the stewardship of Ratan Tata, Tetley was acquired by Tata Tea which is a Tata consumer product, Tata Motors conquered Jaguar Land Rover, and Corus was acquired by Tata Steel. Earlier, Tata Group was well established in India, but post the above acquisitions, it had a global presence. 65% of the companies revenue came from abroad.
He has served in many organizations globally. Not only is he a member of “ Prime Minister’s Council of Trade and Industry” but also a member of “International Investment Council”. This council was set up by the South African president and served the aid initiatives in India by the “Bill & Mellina Gates Foundation” Ratan Tata is on the board of governor of the advisory board of RAND’s Center for Asia-Pacific Policy known as East-West Center.
With Ratan Tata net worth of about $1 billion, he retired on his 75th Birthday, which is on 28 December 2012 and was succeeded by the son of Pallonji Mistry- Cyrus Mistry. In October 2016, Ratan tata had a comeback for few months after the removal of Mistry.
The Cold War Between Tata and Ford
In 1999, when Ratan Tata was the chairman of Tata Group, tried to sell Tata Motors to Ford. After the launch of Indica in 1998, the company suffered a huge failure and loss. It was then, the ford Motors showed interest in the Bombay headquarters to buy the firm. Tata then decided to travel to Ford’s headquarters in Detroit to finalize the deal along with his team. In the meeting, the officials of Ford humiliated him by saying, “You do not know anything, why did you start the passenger car division? Tata should not dream of the passenger car manufacture business as they didn’t deserve that.”
At that time, Ratan Tata did not argue but not even made the deal and left the city. After coming back to Mumbai, he was a lot more dedicated and had plans to make Tata Motors, a company that would be loved by all. Soon, he founded Indica V2, which was had the best and the most aggressive marketing strategy. It is after 9 years, that the ball was in Ratan Tata’s court as Ford was bankrupt now due to the global recession. It was then when he took sweet revenge by acquiring Ford as well as landrover and Jaguar for $2.3billion.
This is one of the most talked-about stories of Ratan Tata, which shows that a person can reach new heights with the proper determination and dedication.
Ratan Tata’s Philosophies
Ratan Tata is a man of principle and that is what made him successful. He always says, “ Be the change you wish to see.”
Ratan Tata has always led a life with this philosophy. He has always been very keen on potential technologies and keen ventures. Many investments have been made by him in both large and smaller next-gen technologies and start-ups. He even invested in American express and the bitcoin company, Abra. Not only he made investments but also, work in partnership with some of the designers based in Pune to direct a plan to make clean drinking water available in rural areas to the marginalized sector. This partnership of his resulted in Swach which is a “sub-1000 water purifier” designed indigenously. Following his philosophy, he was even responsible for Tata Motor’s rolling-out of Tigor, which is an Electric Vehicle manufactured in Sanand, a city in Gujrat.
He is also a true personification of leadership and he believes in prioritizing humane face over commercial gains. Ratan Tata is involved in numerous charitable activities that include providing education and quality life in the rural sector in India. Not only has he received Padma Bhusan and Padma Vibhushan by the government of India in 2000 and 2008 respectively, but has been awarded many international accolades that include Honorary Doctorates from the Asian Institute of Technology, University of Warwick, and Ohio State University.
Ratan Tata’s Philanthropies
The net worth of Ratan Tata stands at an overwhelming volume of 300 million pounds, but he does not even own 1 per cent of the Tata Groups’ fortune. Most of the shares are owned by charities to support the community.
There is no second thought about how much does Ratan Tata supports rural development, medicine, and education. He even supported the “University of New South Wales Faculty of Engineering “to develop “capacitive deionization” so that water can reach the challenged areas. Tata consultancy services(TCS), a subsidiary of Tata Group has made one of the largest donations ever. This was done to CMU for the research in autonomous vehicles and cognitive systems.
It was Ratan Tata who founded the Tata Trusts. Individual Grants, healthcare, nutrition, livelihood, education, art and culture, digital transformation, sports, skill development, environment and energy, migration and urban habit, disaster relief, and rehabilitation, and water, sanitation, and hygiene are the overall theme engagement, the rata tata trust revolves around.
Ratan Tata often says that “I don’t believe in taking the right decisions, I take decisions and make them right.”
At present, the tata group has a lot of subsidiaries including Tata Communications, Tata Chemicals, Tata Consultancy Service, Tata Motors andTata Steel. The majority of these subsidiaries are in a profit because of the dedication and hard work of Ratan Tata.
The youth of today should learn a lot from Ratan Tata. He continues to teach the entrepreneurs to dream big and have greater ambitions. He even says one should be transparent and not be scared of mistakes. It is his experience that teaches that falling is not an issue, but it will become a huge problem if one does not stand up to fight back.
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