Ratan Naval Tata is the Chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Group, and is one of India’s most well-known and respected industrialists. Tata, who is 73 years old, is the chairman of one of the country’s largest conglomerates, which includes approximately 100 companies with a combined revenue of USD 67 billion. Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Teleservices, Tata Power, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Tea, Tata Chemicals, and The Indian Hotels Company are among his key Tata firms.
Tata was born on December 28, 1937, into one of Mumbai’s wealthiest families. Jamsedji Tata, the Tata group’s founder, was his great grandpa. Tata had a tumultuous life following his parents’ divorce when he was a child. Lady Navajbai, his grandmother, nurtured him in the lap of luxury at Tata Palace. The Tata scion was captivated by America, and he attended Cornell University to study architecture and structural engineering. Later, he attended Harvard University for a management course.
He joined the Tata Group in 1962, and his first position was with the Tata Steel division in Jamshedpur, where he worked with blue-collar workers shoveling stone and operating furnaces. In 1971, he was named Director-in-Charge of the National Radio and Electronics Company Limited (Nelco), and he was successful in bringing the company around.
Tata rose through the ranks of Tata Industries to become Chairman and was a driving force behind a slew of reforms. Tata Consultancy Services went public under his leadership, and Tata Motors was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, giving it greater international strength and prestige. He is recognised with directing the Tata Group’s successful bid for Corus, an Anglo-Dutch steel and aluminium company, as well as the Ford Company’s Jaguar and Land Rover brands.
During his leadership, the company saw the birth of the ‘Indica,’ India’s first fully Indian car. Tata was the designer of the vehicle. Tata’s food division purchased tea company Tetley for GBP 70 million in 2000. The group’s revenues increased nearly 12-fold in 2009-10, totaling USD 67.4 billion. Tata is also a member of the boards of Fiat SpA and Alcoa, as well as the international advisory boards of Mitsubishi Corporation, American International Group, JP Morgan Chase, Rolls Royce, Temasek Holdings, and the Singapore Monetary Authority.
He was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Indian government in the year 2000. Ohio State University awarded him an honorary doctorate in business administration, the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok awarded him an honorary doctorate in technology, and the University of Warwick awarded him an honorary doctorate in science. Tata’s personal fortune is around GBP 300 million, and he controls less than 1% of the conglomerate. Charitable trusts own about two-thirds of Tata Group, which helps to fund good causes.
During the 26/11 attacks, Tata offered a magnificent example of charity and leadership. He stood alone outside the Taj hotel, unarmed, and oversaw the actions aimed at assisting the victims. He shown his humanity by paying personal visits to the families of all 80 colleagues murdered or injured. He didn’t leave any stone unturned in his efforts to help the victims, even asking the victims’ families and dependents what they wanted him to do.
Tata has begun making arrangements for his post-retirement life, despite the fact that his retirement is still a year away. He intends to establish an international design centre with international standards and size. He has led the development of a number of groundbreaking designs and products, the most well-known of which is Nano. His concern for the safety of nuclear families commuting on two-wheelers inspired him to create Nano. He was the one who suggested that the little car just have one wiper on the windscreen. Its pricing and maintenance costs were decreased as a result.
He also spearheaded a strategy to deliver affordable and safe drinking water, and aided a group of Pune-based designers in developing Swach, a water filter that costs less than Rs 1,000. This 560-mm water purification device was created over the course of more than three years by Design Directions Private Limited.
Tata, who is a bachelor in real life, values privacy and avoids the limelight. Only CDs, books, and pets keep him company. In an unassuming Tata sedan, the business baron drives himself to work.
Ratan Tata, who stands tall among his peers with a tremendous fortune and global fame, has remarkably never made the Forbes billionaires list.