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Urban Infra Leaders: Know all about Ratan N. Tata, the man behind success of Tata Group

Ratan Naval Tata is an Indian businessman, philanthropist, and former chairman of Tata Sons, a multinational conglomerate company based in India. He was born on December 28, 1937, in Bombay (now Mumbai), India. Ratan Tata is one of the most respected and influential business leaders in India and has made significant contributions to the growth and development of the Tata Group.


He belongs to the prominent Tata family, which has been associated with the Tata Group for several generations. He is the great-grandson of Jamsetji Tata, the founder of the Tata Group, and the son of Naval Tata, a noted businessman and philanthropist.


He completed his education from the Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai and later graduated with a degree in architecture from Cornell University in the United States. He then pursued an Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.


Ratan Tata joined the Tata Group in 1962 and began his career on the shop floor of Tata Steel. Over the years, he held various positions within the group, gaining valuable experience in different sectors. In 1991, he was appointed as the chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group.

During his tenure as chairman, Ratan Tata led the Tata Group through a period of significant growth and expansion. Under his leadership, the group ventured into new industries and acquired several global companies, including Tetley Tea, Jaguar Land Rover, and Corus Steel (now Tata Steel Europe). He also initiated various corporate social responsibility programs, focusing on education, healthcare, and rural development.

Ratan Tata stepped down as the chairman of Tata Sons in December 2012 but continued to be actively involved in various philanthropic endeavors. He is known for his advocacy of ethical business practices, corporate governance, and sustainable development.


Ratan Tata has received several honorary degrees and prestigious awards for his contributions to business and society. He has been recognized with numerous accolades, including the Padma Bhushan (2000) and the Padma Vibhushan (2008), which are among India's highest civilian honors in India. He is widely regarded as an inspirational leader and is respected for his vision, integrity, and commitment to social causes.


Ratan Tata, the former chairman of Tata Sons and a prominent figure in the business world, has had a remarkable career and has been involved in several notable endeavors. Here are a few interesting things about Ratan Tata:

1. Philanthropy: Ratan Tata is known for his philanthropic initiatives and dedication to social causes. He has been actively involved in various charitable activities, particularly in the fields of education, healthcare, and rural development. Through the Tata Trusts, he has supported numerous projects that have had a significant impact on the lives of people in India.

2. Jaguar Land Rover Acquisition: Under Ratan Tata's leadership, Tata Motors acquired Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) from Ford in 2008. This acquisition was seen as a significant milestone for the Tata Group, as it marked their entry into the luxury automotive sector. Ratan Tata's strategic decision and subsequent efforts to turn around the struggling brand resulted in the revival of JLR, making it a profitable venture for Tata Motors.

3. Nano Car Project: Ratan Tata spearheaded the development and launch of the Tata Nano, a compact and affordable car that aimed to provide a safer and more economical mode of transportation to the masses in India. The Nano project garnered international attention and was hailed as the world's most affordable car. Although it faced challenges and did not achieve the expected commercial success, it demonstrated Ratan Tata's vision for innovation and accessibility.

4. Ethical Business Practices: Ratan Tata is known for his emphasis on ethical business practices and corporate social responsibility. He has emphasized the importance of conducting business with integrity, transparency, and fairness, and has been vocal about the need for businesses to contribute positively to society.

5. Business Transformation: During his tenure as chairman of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata led the transformation of the Tata Group into a global conglomerate. Under his leadership, the group expanded its presence in various sectors, including steel, automotive, information technology, telecommunications, hospitality, and more. His strategic decisions and emphasis on innovation and quality helped propel the Tata Group to new heights.

These are just a few highlights of Ratan Tata's fascinating journey. His achievements, leadership, and philanthropic endeavors have made him an influential and respected figure not only in the business world but also in society at large.

10 Interesting Things About Ratan Tata

1. Ratan Tata started his first job at the Tata organization. At Tata Steel, his first duty was to oversee the blast furnace and the limestone dump. Ratan Tata declined the job offer from IBM in favor of working for his family's company.

2. He once admitted that while he was working in Los Angeles, there was a time when he fell in love. But because of the 1962 Indo-China War, the girl's parents were opposed to sending her to India. After which he never got married.

3. Under his able leadership, the Tata Group's revenues increased more than 40 times. Profits increased by a factor of more than 50. The company made about $103 billion in 2016 after only making $5.7 billion in 1991.

4. Ratan Tata is a skilled pilot. In 2007, Ratan Tata became the first Indian to pilot an F-16 Falcon.

5. In his long career, he successfully completed some historic mergers for his business, including Tetley's merger with Tata Tea, Land Rover Jaguar's merger with Tata Motors, and Corus's merger with Tata Steel. The phenomenal growth of the Tata Group was significantly influenced by all of these mergers.

6. In 2009, he fulfilled his promise and created the Tata Nano, India's most affordable car, with a price tag of Rs. 1 lakh.

7. Under his direction, the Tata Group established a $28 million scholarship fund at Cornell University to support Indian undergraduate students.

8. Additionally, in 2010, Ratan Tata raised $50 million to build an executive center for the Harvard Business School, where he received his undergraduate training. Tata Hall was the name of this room.

9. The Indian industrialist is renowned for his steadfast devotion to automobiles. According to reports, he owns a wide range of vehicles, including the Ferrari California, Cadillac XLR, Land Rover Freelander, Chrysler Sebring, Honda Civic, Mercedes Benz S-Class, Maserati Quattroporte, Mercedes Benz 500 SL, Jaguar F-Type, Jaguar CFTR, and many others.

10. His Bombay House headquarters now has a kennel for stray dogs following recent renovations. This kennel is furnished with food, water, toys, and a play area. Ratan Tata, continuing the tradition, has a deep affection for these dogs. The Bombay House has a history of letting stray dogs inside during the rainy season dating back to the time of Jamsedji Tata.

Due to the fact that the family and the business donate more than 65% of their wealth to charity, he is not listed among the billionaires or the wealthiest people in the world.

15 Inspirational Quotes of Ratan Tata

1. None can destroy iron, but its own rust can. Likewise, none can destroy a person but his own mindset can.

2. If you want to walk fast, walk alone. But if you want to walk far, walk together.

3. I don’t believe in taking right decisions. I take decisions and then make them right.

4. People still believe what they read is necessarily the truth.

5. Don’t be serious, enjoy life as it comes.

6. 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.

7. Business need to go beyond the interest of their companies to the communities they serve.

8. Deal with crisis in such a way that you can hold your head high and sleep well at night.

9. Power and wealth are not two of my main stakes.

10. A person who imitates others may be successful for a while but a puppet cannot go far in life.

11. 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.

12. 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 do.

13. 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.

14. Take the stones people throw at you, and use them to build a monument.

I am proud of my country. But we need to unite to make a unified India, free of communalism and casteism. We need to build India into a land of equal opportunity for all. We can be a truly great nation if we set our sights high and deliver to the people the fruits of continued growth, prosperity, and equal opportunity.                       - (Ratan N. Tata)

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