INDIA: Ratan Tata, the chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, is a business magnate and philanthropist who has played a crucial role in shaping the Tata Group into the multinational conglomerate it is today.
Born on December 28, 1937, in Mumbai (then known as Bombay), Ratan Tata is the son of Naval Tata, who had been adopted into the family of Tata Group founder Jamshedji Tata by Sir Ratanji Tata.
Ratan Tata completed his schooling in Bombay and later pursued a degree in architecture and structural engineering from Cornell University.
Upon returning to India, Ratan Tata joined the Tata Group in 1962 and worked his way up the ranks, holding various positions in the company before being appointed chairman of Tata Sons in 1991.
Under his leadership, the Tata Group underwent a significant expansion, with revenues growing from $5.5 billion in 1991 to $100 billion in 2011.
One of Tata’s significant achievements was the 2007 acquisition of British steelmaker Corus, which was the largest acquisition by an Indian company at the time.
Ratan Tata also oversaw the launch of several successful ventures, including Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, and Tata Tea.
In addition to his business pursuits, Tata is known for his philanthropic efforts. He established the Tata Education and Development Trust, which aims to improve the quality of education in India, and has donated over $1 billion to various charitable causes.
Tata has received numerous accolades for his contributions to the business world and philanthropy, including the Padma Bhushan in 2000 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2008, two of India’s highest civilian honours.
He was named one of Forbes‘ 100 Most Powerful People in the World in 2011.
He played a crucial role in the development of the Tata Nano. The Tata Nano, designed to be an affordable car for the masses, was a way to revolutionise the automotive industry in India.
Under his leadership, the Nano was developed and launched in 2009, becoming one of the most affordable cars in the world.
Tata’s vision and determination helped make the Nano a success, and it remains an integral part of the Tata Group’s portfolio to this day.
Despite his many achievements, Tata is known for his humble nature and has often credited his success to the team of dedicated professionals at Tata Group.
In an interview with Forbes, he said, “I have always believed that one should never take success to one’s head and never take failure to one’s heart.”
In 2012, Tata stepped down as the chairman of Tata Sons, but he remains an influential figure in the business world and a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs.
His vision and leadership have helped transform the Tata Group into a global brand, and his philanthropic efforts have impacted communities worldwide.