Ratan Tata Biography: On this day, 84 years ago Ratan Tata was born. He is among the most successful businessmen in the county and is widely known for his philanthropic work as well. On the 84th birthday of India’s renowned business tycoon, let us take a look at his life.
Ratan Tata Biography
|Birth||28 December 1937|
|Education||Cornell UniversityHarvard Business School|
|Family||Naval Tata (Father), Sooni Commissariat (Mother)|
|Occupation||Former Chairperson of Tata Sons and Tata Group Philanthropist, Investor|
|Title||Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons and Tata Group|
|Successor||Cyrus Mistry (2012), Natarajan Chandrasekaran (2017–present)|
|Awards||Padma Vibhushan (2008), Padma Bhushan (2000)|
|Net Worth||Rs. 6000 crores|
Ratan Tata: Birth, Age, Family, and Education
Born on 28 December 1937 in Bombay, British India (present-day Mumbai), Ratan Tata is the son of Naval Tata and Sooni Commissariat.
They got separated when Ratan Tata was 10 years old. He was then formally adopted by his grandmother and widow of Sir Ratanji Tata– Navajbai Tata– through the J. N. Petit Parsi Orphanage. Ratan Tata was raised with his half-brother Noel Tata (son of Naval Tata and Simone Tata).
The 84-year-old attended Campion School, Mumbai, Cathedral and John Connon School, Mumbai, Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, and Riverdale Country School in New York City. He is an alumnus of Cornell University and Harvard Business School.
Ratan Tata as Chairperson of Tata Sons
When JRD Tata stepped down as the chairperson of Tata Sons in 1991, he named Ratan Tata his successor. He faced stiff resistance from many companies heads who spent decades in their respective companies.
Tata began replacing them by setting a retirement age. He further made it compulsory for each company to report to the group office.
Under his leadership, the overlapping companies of Tata Sons were streamlined into a synergized whole.
During his 21 years of stewardship, revenues grew over 40 times, and profit over 50 times.
He got Tata Tea to acquire Tetley, Tata Motors to acquire Jaguar Land Rover, and Tata Steel to acquire Corus, turning the organization from a largely India-centric group into a global business.
He also conceptualized the Tata Nano car. The car was capped at a price that was within the reach of the average Indian consumer.
Upon turning 75, Ratan Tata stepped down as the Chairperson of Tata Sons on 28 December 2012.
Cyrus Mistry was named his successor, however, the Board of Directors and Legal division voted for his removal on 24 October 2016 and Ratan Tata was then made the group’s interim chairman.
A selection committee comprising of Ratan Tata, TVS Group head Venu Srinivasan, Amit Chandra of Bain Capital, former diplomat Ronen Sen, and Lord Kumar Bhattacharya was formed to find the successor of Ratan Tata.
The committee named Natarajan Chandrasekaran as the Chairperson of Tata Sons on 12 January 2017.
Ratan Tata invested his personal savings in Snapdeal, Teabox, and CashKaro.com. He also invested in Ola Cabs, Xiaomi, Nestaway, and Dogspot.
Philanthropic Work of Ratan Tata
Being a supporter of education, medicine, and rural development, Ratan Tata supported the University of New South Wales Faculty of Engineering to provide improved water for challenged areas.
Tata Education and Development Trust endowed a $28 million Tata Scholarship Fund that will allow Cornell University to provide financial aid to undergraduate students from India. The annual scholarship will support approximately 20 students at a given time.
Tata Group companies and Tata charities donated $50 million in 2010 to Harvard Business School (HBS) for the construction of an executive center.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) donated $35 million to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) for a facility to research cognitive systems and autonomous vehicles. It is the largest ever donation by a company and the 48,000 square-foot building is called TCS Hall.
Tata Group donated Rs. 950 million to the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 2014 and formed Tata Center for Technology and Design (TCTD). It was the largest ever donation received in the history of the institute.
Tata Trusts also provided a grant of ₹750 million to the Centre for Neuroscience, the Indian Institute of Science, to study mechanisms underlying the cause of Alzheimer’s disease and to evolve methods for its early diagnosis and treatment.
Tata Group also formed the MIT Tata Center of Technology and Design at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to address the challenges of resource-constrained communities, with an initial focus on India.
Ratan Tata Wife
“I came close to getting married four times and each time I backed off in fear or for one reason or another,” said Ratan Tata in 2011.
He once loved a girl in Los Angeles while working there and had to return to India as his family member was ill. The girl’s parents didn’t allow her to go to India. Tata stood by his commitment and is unmarried to date.
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Ratan Tata Awards
Ratan Tata was awarded many notable awards and honors. These are mentioned below:
|2000||Padma Bhushan||Government of India|
|2008||Padma Vibhushan||Government of India|
|2001||Honorary Doctor of Business Administration||Ohio State University|
|2004||Medal of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay||Government of Uruguay|
|2004||Honorary Doctor of Technology||Asian Institute of Technology.|
|2005||International Distinguished Achievement Award||B’nai B’rith International|
|2005||Honorary Doctor of Science||University of Warwick.|
|2006||Honorary Doctor of Science||Indian Institute of Technology Madras|
|2006||Responsible Capitalism Award||For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST)|
|2007||Honorary Fellowship||The London School of Economics and Political Science|
|2007||Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy||Carnegie Endowment for International Peace|
|2008||Honorary Doctor of Law||University of Cambridge|
|2008||Honorary Doctor of Science||Indian Institute of Technology Bombay|
|2008||Honorary Doctor of Science||Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur|
|2008||Honorary Citizen Award||Government of Singapore|
|2008||Honorary Fellowship||The Institution of Engineering and Technology|
|2008||Inspired Leadership Award||The Performance Theatre|
|2009||Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE)||Queen Elizabeth II|
|2009||Life Time Contribution Award in Engineering for 2008||Indian National Academy of Engineering|
|2009||Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic||Government of Italy|
|2010||Honorary Doctor of Law||University of Cambridge|
|2010||Hadrian Award||World Monuments Fund|
|2010||Oslo Business for Peace award||Business for Peace Foundation|
|2010||Legend in Leadership Award||Yale University|
|2010||Honorary Doctor of Laws||Pepperdine University|
|2010||Business for Peace Award||Business for Peace Foundation|
|2010||Business Leader of the Year||The Asian Awards.|
|2012||Honorary Fellow||The Royal Academy of Engineering|
|2012||Doctor of Business honoris causa||University of New South Wales|
|2012||Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun||Government of Japan|
|2013||Foreign Associate||National Academy of Engineering|
|2013||Transformational Leader of the Decade||Indian Affairs India Leadership Conclave 2013|
|2013||Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Lifetime Achievement||Ernst & Young|
|2013||Honorary Doctor of Business Practice||Carnegie Mellon University|
|2014||Honorary Doctor of Business||Singapore Management University|
|2014||Sayaji Ratna Award||Baroda Management Association|
|2014||Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE)||Queen Elizabeth II|
|2014||Honorary Doctor of Laws||York University, Canada|
|2015||Honorary Doctor of Automotive Engineering||Clemson University|
|2015||Sayaji Ratna Award||Baroda Management Association, Honoris Causa, HEC Paris|
|2016||Commander of the Legion of Honour||Government of France|
|2018||Honorary Doctorate||Swansea University|
|2021||Assam Baibhav||Government of Assam|
Ratan Tata Quotes
1- “I don’t believe in taking the right decisions. I take decisions and then make them right.”
2- “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. But if you want to walk far, walk together.”
3- “I’ve often felt that the Indian Tiger has not been unleashed.”
4- “People still believe what they read is necessarily the truth.”
5- “If it stands the test of public scrutiny, do it… If it doesn’t stand the test of public scrutiny then don’t do it.”
6- “Power and wealth are not two of my main stakes.”
7- “I have been constantly telling people to encourage people, to question the unquestioned and not to be ashamed to bring up new ideas, new processes to get things done.”
8- “None can destroy iron, but its own rust can! Likewise none can destroy a person, but its own mindset can!”
9- “Business need to go beyond the interest of their companies to the communities they serve.”
10- “Ups and downs in life are very important to keep us going, because a straight line even in an ECG means we are not alive.”
11- “Apart from values and ethics which I have tried to live by, the legacy I would like to leave behind is a very simple one – that I have always stood up for what I consider to be the right thing, and I have tried to be as fair and equitable as I could be.”
12- “I admire people who are very successful. But if that success has been achieved through too much ruthlessness, then I may admire that person, but I can’t respect him.”
13- “There are many things that, if I have to relive, maybe I will do it another way. But I would not like to look back and think what I have not been able to.”
14- “Don’t be serious, enjoy life as it comes.”
15- “I have always been very confident and very upbeat about the future potential of India. I think it is a great country with great potential.”
16- “One hundred years from now, I expect the Tatas to be much bigger than it is now. More importantly, I hope the Group comes to be regarded as being the best in India.. best in the manner in which we operate, best in the products we deliver, and best in our value systems and ethics. Having said that, I hope that a hundred years from now we will spread our wings far beyond India.”
17- “Take the stones people throw at you, and use them to build a monument”
18- “I followed someone who had very large shoes. He had very large shoes. Mr. J. R. D. Tata. He was a legend in the Indian business community. He had been at the helm of the Tata organization for 50 years. You were almost starting to think he was going to be there forever.”
19- “Young entrepreneurs will make a difference in the Indian ecosystem.”
20- “I would say that one of the things I wish I could do differently would be to be more outgoing.”
21- “The strong live and the weak die. There is some bloodshed, and out of it emerges a much leaner industry, which tends to survive.”
22- “At Tatas, we believe that if we are not among the top three in an industry, we should look seriously at what it would take to become one of the top three players.. or think about exiting the industry”
Ratan Tata Family Tree
1- Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata– Founder of Tata Group, India’s biggest conglomerate company. He was married to Hirabai Daboo.
2- Dorabji Tata- The elder son of Jamshedji Tata and second chairperson of Tata Group. His wife was Meherbai Tata, paternal aunt of renowned nuclear scientist Homi J. Bhabha.
3- Ratanji Tata- Younger son of Jamshedji Tata. He was the pioneer of poverty studies. He was married to Navajbai Tata. His wife adopted an orphan, Naval, who was the grand-nephew of Hirabai Tata and raised him as her own son.
4- Naval Tata- Adopted son of Navajbai Tata. His biological father was Hormusji Tata. His maternal grandmother was the sister of Hirabai Tata. Director in several Tata companies, ILO member, and recipient of Padma Bhushan, Naval Tata had three sons- Ratan Tata (5th chairperson of Tata Group), Jimmy Tata, and Noel Tata (Chairperson of Trent Limited)– from two marriages.
5-Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata- He was one of the early stalwarts who served the Tata Group. His father Dadabhoy and mother of Jamshedji Tata, Jeevanbai, were siblings. He married Suzanne Brière and the couple gave birth to five children, including J.R.D. Tata and Sylla Tata.
6- J.R.D. Tata- He served as the fourth Chairperson of Tata Group. He is the founder of Tata Airlines (later Air India).
7- Sylla Tata- Elder sister of J.R.D. Tata was married to the founder of the first textile mill in India, Dinshaw Maneckji Petit. Her sister-in-law Rattanbai Petit, was married to Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. Jinnah’s only child, Dina Jinnah, was married to Neville Ness Wadia.
- Kapoor, Uday. “Oral History of Ratan Tata”. YouTube
- Ratan Tata is chairman emeritus of Tata Sons”. The Times of India
- Tata Hall Dedicated at HBS”.
- “Padma Awards” (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India
- The Tata group: Out of India”. The Economist.
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