Ratan Tata Biography
Grandson of the Tata group founder Jamshedji Tata, Ratan Naval Tata has always been a troubled child. Born on 28th December 1987, he was left alone by his parents who separated when he was seven and a half years old. He and his brother were brought up solely by his grandmother Lady Navajbai. He initially went to the Campion School and later at the Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai.
He did his B.S. in architecture with structural engineering from Cornell University in 1962 and the Advanced Management program from Harvard Business School in 1975. On his return to India in 1962 after declining a job at IBM, he was made to work on the shop floor at Tata Steel in Jamshedpur with other blue collar employees.
He was given the duty of shoveling limestone and handling the blast furnace. In the year 1971, he was appointed as the director of National radio and Electronics (NELCO) which was on the verge of collapsing with 40% losses and nearly 2% share of the consumer electronics market. However when he transformed the company, an emergency was declared in the country and Nelco’s position and profit began deteriorating again.
In 1977, he was assigned his next assignment which included turning around the sick Express Mills and he successfully completed his task. His efforts to run the mill successfully were drowned when he was refused an investmeny of rupees fifty lakhs to make the textile unit competitive. Finally after struggling, the unit closed down.
He was announced the successor to his grandfather in 1981 but this decision of the steel king was criticized because Ratan lacked the expertise to run the big chain of TATA industries. In 1991, he was appointed as the group chairman of the TATA group. He did his duty as the Chairman by interconnecting ‘the corporate commonwealth’ of different TATA affiliated companies.
He was also responsible for attaining Tetley, Jaguar land rover and Corus which has expanded the TATA business beyond the boundaries of India. Currently 65% of its revenue comes from global business. The development of indica and Nano was possible only because of his constant push.
In August 2007, this great businessman led TATA group’s acquisition of Corus. This achievement made the TATA group the fifth largest steel producer in the world. Currently he is one of the most successful men in the universe, serving as the Chairman of the TATA group, being a reputed board of director member of Alcoa, being a member of the International Advisory boards of Mitsubishi Corporation, the American International group, JP Morgan Chase, Rolls Royce, Temasek holdings and the Monetry holdings of Singapore.
With revenues of more than $83 billion, he did not neglect his duty towards the society. He is associated with various organizations in India and overseas and presides over two of the largest private sector promoted philanthropic trusts in India. He was honored with the Padma Bhushan in 2000, Padma Vibhushan in 2008 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. After his retirement in December 2012, Cyrus Mistry, the son of Pallonji Mistry and managing director of Shapoorji Pallonji group will succeed him.