Ratan Tata has been the Chairman of Tata Group for almost two decades. He is a true example of a distinguished entrepreneur. A quiet personality and his low profile style is what make him the leader that he is. His silent determination has made the company a global name.
Tata was born on 28th December 1937 in Bombay, India. He went to the Cathedral for schooling and attended John Connon School in present day Mumbai. He graduated from Cornell University in 1962 receiving a degree of Architecture and Structural Engineering. On his return he joined the family business. He entered the Tata Group working as a blue collar employee till 1971 when he was promoted to Director in Charge of the National Radio and Electronics Company Ltd (Nalco). The company was going through a difficult time but with Tata’s clever suggestions and decisions it was able to recover from its damages. In 1977 another failing part of the Group, the Empress Mills was handed over to Tata who managed to turn it around the way he done with Nalco.
Under his leadership Tata Group acquired Tetley, Jaguar, Land Rover and Corus with the last two making corporate history. He changed the company from being a local industry to a worldwide business. Tata Motors produced Tata’s brainchild ‘Tata Indica’ however Ratan Tata became widely famous when he for introduced the world’s cheapest car ‘Tata Nano’ in 1998, which could be bought for 1 lakh rupees. This legendary business magnate is greatly respected even by other entrepreneurs who agree that he is truly an excellent businessman. He retired from the Group in December 2012 at the age of 75. He is still heads the Tata Motors, Tata Sons and Tata Steel and two trusts namely ‘Sir Ratan Tata Trust’ and ‘Sir Dorabji Tata and Allied Trusts’. Tata is also a member of various organizations such as the the advisory board of Mitsubishi Corporation, JP Morgan Chase, the American International Group and Booz Allen Hamilton.
Tata was honored with the ‘Padma Bhushan’ in 2000 and then the ‘Padma Vibhushan’ in 2008. He was given the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the ‘Rockefeller Foundation’ in 2012. Tata was knighted in 2009. Tata was honored as the 26th Robert S. Hatfield Fellow in Economic Education, which is the highest given by the Cornell University. He also got an honorary doctorate from the London School of Economics. Tata was ranked amongst the ‘25 Most Powerful People in Business’ by Fortune Magazine in 2007.
The icon of entrepreneurship and ‘India’s Most Respected Business Leader’ according to Forbes has proven his entrepreneurial talents by making the right decisions that led to the success of the Tata Group. Under his stewardship Tata Consultancy Services went public and Tata Motors was registered in the New York Stock Exchange. The government of India requested Tata to save the airlines ‘Air India’ by bailing it out, a challenge that he accepted.
Ratan Tata has made his country very proud. He has played a major role in the betterment of the living standards of the common man in India.