"If you want to walk fast, walk alone. But if you want to walk far, walk together"
On December 28, 1937, Ratan Naval Tata was born into one of the wealthiest families. He is Jamsetji Tata's great-grandson, who established the Tata Group. His father Naval Tata was the adopted son of Ratanji Tata and Navajbai Tata. Despite coming from a well-known family, Ratan had a traumatic upbringing. This resulted from his parents divorcing when he was only 10 years old. After the separation, he was brought up at a mansion called Tata Palace by his grandmother, Lady Navajbai Tata. He was legally adopted by his grandmother through the J. N. Petit Parsi Orphanage. He remembers
being teased at school for his parents' divorce, which was unusual in the 1950s. When his mother remarried, the ragging only worsened over time. His grandma was immensely influential in forming his character during these trying times. The value of upholding one's dignity at all costs was something his grandma instilled in him. He now had a choice other than to strike back.
He has frequently been reported as saying that his grandmother assisted him in creating a strong set of beliefs and an ethical system that have served as his guide since he was a young boy. He also recalls how his grandmother taught him how to speak up while also giving him the confidence to do it in a kind and dignified way. She always supported him when he disagreed from his father, such as when he chose to study in the US rather than the UK or when he decided to pursue an architectural career rather than his father's preferred engineering career. Ratan Tata continued his education at Cornell University in the US, where he graduated in 1959 with a degree in architecture. After graduating, he immediately secured a position in architecture, where he spent two years
Ratan Tata’s career began when he joined the Tata Group in 1961 after moving back to India. At Tata Steel Ltd. in Jamshedpur, he worked with blue-collar workers in his first position. Because he was passed from department to department and treated like a family member, he felt that his time there had been completely wasted. However, he spent six months merely attempting to present himself as useful. He was an apprentice on the factory floor, shovelling limestone and working with the furnaces among his duties.
In the 1970s, after gaining experience, he was elevated to management. He was appointed director and given responsibility for National Radio and Electronics (NELCO). He was successful in turning around the business, but it ultimately failed due to a downturn in the economy. He was again given the job of turning around Mumbai-based Empress Mills, another failing business, in 1977. But unfortunately, even that business sank because he was unable to bring in new capital and also due to the workers strike headed by Datta Salmant.
JRD Tata, the legendary chairman of Tata Sons, retired in 1991, and Ratan Tata was appointed as his replacement. This caught everyone outside the corporation, including the media, and the group's management. It was anticipated that JRD Tata would be succeeded by one of the current executives, namely Russi Mody (Tata Steel), Darbari Seth (Tata Tea, Tata Chemicals), Ajit Kerkar (Taj Hotels), and Nani Palkhivala (director on the boards of various Tata enterprises). They were well-known figures in the field. Within the group, this provokeda furious argument. Mody even went on to express his disapproval of Ratan Tata in the open. The media also attacked Ratan Tata, portraying him as a poor choice and the product of nepotism. Ratan Tata, however, lacked the charisma of his predecessor. Setting a retirement age was one of the first reforms he made. This policy established the retirement age for senior executives at 65 and directors at 70. As a result, newer talent started to replace the staff. Mody was fired following a heated dispute, Seth and Kerkar retired over time as they grew older, and Palkhivala resigned due to health reasons. Ratan Tata could now concentrate on what was vital, which was heading the group, after the succession question had been resolved. He persuaded group enterprises to pay a fee to Tata Sons for the use of the Tata name and forced individual businesses to submit operational reports to the group. Under his leadership, the company left the cement, textiles, and cosmetics industry while increasing its focus on others like software and entered into telecommunications, banking, and retail. In retrospect, this might be regarded as preparing the business to make changes that were already occurring in a developing country. Despite all the criticism directed at him, JRD Tata mentored Ratan throughout this process.
“I don’t believe in taking right decisions. I take decisions and then make them right.” – Ratan Tata
Ratan Tata had planned to restore the groups' sense of identity. It was crucial for him that he made the organization more unified than it had previously been so that it could better identify as a group. This new identity couldn't project the same aged impression of the business as it had in the past. Younger talent infusion, which paved the path for innovation, and company divestitures were factors that contributed to this. One of Tata's greatest accomplishments was its involvement in the Indian automobile industry. Even though most people associate Tata with Nano, Indica is actually the one who started this revolution. The Indian truck manufacturer set out to build the "Indica," India's first entirely indigenous automobile. Tata was the designer of the vehicle. He promised a car that would be the size of a (Maruti) Zen, have the inside space of an ambassador, and use less fuel than a Maruti 800. After its debut in December 1998, the group began producing cars on a substantial scale. The group has advanced to become one of India's leading automobile manufacturers today. Although the company had already signaled its motives with the introduction of the Sierra, which we would now refer to as a cross-over vehicle, and the Estate, a station waggon, the Indica became a bestseller despite manufacturing and quality issues and an initial loss (500 crore loss declared in 2001). The Nano was another ground-breaking invention by the Tatas. Ratan Tata's most prized project was the Nano. After observing a family of four riding a motorbike in the heavy Bombay rains, he made the decision to design an automobile within the means of the common Indian consumer. He promised to provide an automobile for just one lakh rupees out of concern for the security of nuclear families. Tata used all available tools to lower the cost of both its purchase price and upkeep. He was the one who recommended that the car just have one windshield wiper. The cost of the car was still greater at the time of the debut despite these efforts. But since he had already made a commitment, he carried it through. Tata is now a director of Rolls Royce, Alcoa, Mitsubishi, the American International Group, and Fiat SpA. Bringing the Tata group to the international stage was another of Ratan Tata's finest accomplishments. This was accomplished through a number of acquisitions. The group bought the London based tea company, Tetley Tea in 2000, in 2004 it purchased the truck-manufacturing operations of South Korea’s Daewoo Motors, and Indian Hotels Co. Ltd took over management of The Pierre in New York. The largest acquisition made by Tata was the 2007 acquisition of Corus Group Plc, an Anglo-Dutch steel manufacturer. It was renamed Tata Steel Europe after the acquisition. The company quickly rose to become the seventh- biggest steel manufacturer in the world after acquiring Corus, which was Europe's largest steelmaker. TCS went public under Ratan Tata, and Tata Motors was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, gaining it recognition on a global scale.
Ratan During his time in charge of Tata, Tata had to deal with many difficulties. At first it appeared as though he had made a tremendous mistake when the firm decided to go into the passenger car market. Tata made the decision to sell his faltering passenger car company, and Ford officials expressed interest after visiting Tata's Bombay headquarters. Ford, however, humiliated Tata and his group when they visited Detroit. The then chairmen Bill Ford reportedly said to Tata that he was quite out of his depth. Tata changed the course of history by dominating the Indian marketplaces. After the global financial crisis of 2008, Ford was on the edge of bankruptcy nine years later. Tata swooped in and acquired the auto company’s iconic Jaguar Land-Rover brands for $2.3 billion. Ford chairman Bill Ford thanked Ratan Tata, saying “you are doing us a big favor by buying JLR.” During the 26/11 attacks, despite the dangers, he stood by himself outside the Taj hotel and oversaw the aid efforts for the victims. All 80 of the employees' families who had lost a loved one or suffered an injury were visited by him in person, and he even asked them what they wanted him to do.
“Ups and downs in life are very important to keep us going, because a straight line even in an E.C.G means we are not alive.” – Ratan Tata