By Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D.
This Indian industrialist, philanthropist, and former chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Group, once said “Take the stones that people throw at you and use them to build a monument” and what a monument he helped build and scale. He is a Ratan Naval Tata, scion of the Tata family and great-grandson of Jamsetji Tata, the founder of Tata Group.
First, what is Tata Group?
Tata Group is one of the biggest and oldest industrial groups in India. Under the leadership of JRD Tata in 1938 and subsequently, Tata Group assets grew quickly from USD $ 101 Million to over USD $5 billion. Tata Sons further grew the conglomerate of 95 enterprises with vertical and horizontal expansion into sectors such as steel, chemicals, technology, cosmetics, marketing, engineering, manufacturing, tea, software services and more.
At a certain point, the company looked like it was headed to collapse. Rata Tata became chairman of the Tata Group in 1991, the year of economic liberalization in India. True to the adage he lived by, Ratan Tata decided to take advantage of the opportunity. Economy was opening to foreign markets and Tata Group began to acquire a number of companies, including Tetley, Corus Group, and Jaguar and Land Rover. With these acquisitions, under his leadership, Tata Group grew from a largely India centrist organization into a global business of international reputation and standing. As per data, the revenues of Tata Group Grew over 40 times, and profit over 50 times during the time Ratan Tata was the chairman. The company now works across six continents in over 100 nations, including markets like luxurious vehicles and accessories to opulent five star hotels. A steadfast believer in ethics and integrity, Ratan Tata once said, “It is not wrong to make money, but it has to be done ethically”.
Take the opportunity to listen to Ratan Naval Tata speak in conversation with Kanwal Rekhi, Managing Director of Inventus Capital Partners at virtual #TiEcon @TiEcon on May 6th. Register at www.tiecon.org .