Who is Ratan Tata?
Ratan N. Tata, born in 1937, current president of the group, is the son of Naval H. Tata.
In ten years, he has formatted Tata Group to attack foreign markets. He has modernized, multiplied revenues by seven without ever losing sight of his vocation: sell to a low-income clientele and invest in the economies of the South. It is no coincidence that he has launched a $ 2,200 car projector and has a strong presence in Bangladesh and Africa.
And yet Ratan’s story was not simple and was not written in advance.
History of Ratan Tata
Ratan Tata grew up in the Bombay home. After the separation of his parents, he is raised, with his little brother Jimmy, by his grandmother. At the time, he was driven to school in a Rolls-Royce by a British driver. His grandmother passes on the values of the country. He went to study abroad and obtained an architecture degree from Cornell University, before returning to the family business in 1962. In the 1970s, he completed his training with a Harvard Business Administration Master.
Its beginnings in two subsidiaries of the group are laborious. As a result, when in 1991 it took the place held for half a century by JRD, its legitimacy was disputed. It is considered too effaced, too hesitant.
In an India that has embarked on economic reforms, Ratan Tata seems uncomfortable. At the end of the 90s, Tata Steel and Tata Motors were in crisis. The group is the target of violent criticism, Ratan Tata is caricatured. In 1998, the launch of the Indica only attracted sarcasm.
And the success of linking, like Tata Consultancy Services, Asian leader IT services, which is a disaster. The real turning point dates back to 2000, with the acquisition, for 407 million dollars, Tetley Tea, a symbol of the former British Empire.
Tata becomes the second largest tea seller in the world. This is the beginning of a series of overseas acquisitions, from the American coffee maker Eight O’clock Coffee to the South Korean Daewoo Commercial Vehicle.
Result: With a turnover of $ 17.5 billion, Tata operates in 54 countries and generates 30% of its revenues abroad, a dynamic that has just culminated with the acquisition by Tata Steel of Corus for $ 6.4 billion. An amount never disbursed by an Indian company to take over a foreign company, with the exception of Mittal for Arcelor.
“The sober, gentle and introverted Ratan Tata is now seen as an aggressive and ambitious businessman”, said Alam Srinivas of Outlook magazine. It is true that Tata does not lose an opportunity to praise her “global strategy”. Without being interested only in business. Because he remains a man very attached to a certain economic humanism and believes in participation in development: the holding Tata Sons is 65.8% owned by charities.
The Social Vision of the Tata Group or Indian Paternalism
The development of this group was marked by a strong correspondence between the interests of companies and the collective interest of a country on the path of independence. The case of Tata is exemplary close to the independence elites of the Congress, the Tata family wanted to register their industrial empire in the project of an independent and prosperous nation.
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This social fiber materialized in financial support for the independence movement, as well as in important philanthropic activities, particularly in the areas of education, health and the development of rural areas. Until the late 1990s, about 12% of the profits generated by Tata Steel were reinvested in social activities. Today, the NGOs created by Tata own 65.8% of the capital of Tata Sons and sit on the management committee of the Group.