“I don’t believe in taking the right decisions, I take decisions and make them right.”
These lines are said by the pure greatness, an industrialist, investor, the famous philanthropist, and former chairman of Tata Sons, Mr Ratan Tata.
Mr Ratan Tata is not counted amongst other big industrialists of the country, in fact, he holds a place way above all of them despite not being as rich as any of them!
Why, you ask?
Well, Mr Ratan Tata, following the convention of Tata industries of working for the country and its people, donates 66% of the profit of his company, to the country!
Ratan Tata was born into a Parsi family on 28 December 1937 to Naval Tata and Sonu Tata in Mumbai.
His primary education was done in Mumbai and then Shimla.
In a tragic incident, Ratan Tata’s parents got divorced when he was merely a boy of 10 years old. After the divorce, his grandmother took him in.
Ratan Tata wanted to be an architect and following his dream, he went on to take admission to America’s Cornwell University. Ratan Tata was the kind of man who used to be reserved and shy and didn’t believe in show-off and bragging.
With an obsession to make his own name, Ratan Tata worked as a helper in restaurants and a lot of other petty jobs till he was in America, not taking allowance from home.
He completed his degree of Bachelor in Architect in 1959 to start his career two years later in the shop floor of Tata Steel factory.
He used to shove limestone, and handle the blast furnace there.
Following the convention of Tata industries, he gained experience by working at various companies of Tata industries, following which he was promoted to management.
The first big challenge that was thrown in his way was the management of Group company, National Radio and Electronics (NELCO). Point to be noted, NELCO was running in loss when Ratan Tata was given its reins.
Ratan Tata, with his sheer brilliance, made NELCO’s share grow from 2% to 20% in the market in 3 years! Such were the capabilities of the man!
Although they had to shut down NELCO soon, because of the emergency-imposed economic slowdown in the country.
NELCO, in so many aspects, was the first success, as well as a failure of Ratan Tata.
Afterwards, Ratan Tata focused on his studies and took a management degree from Harvard University in 1975.
Shortly after, he was given the reins of a group company Tata Express Mill, which he failed to revive, owing to the ignorance of management in investing anything in the already staggering company.
This was the second big failure of Ratan Tata, which ended up teaching him a lot.
Ratan Tata was made the chairman of Tata Group in the year 1991.
Ratan Tata, being the fearless risktaker, launched a fully made in India luxury car for middle-class Indian families in the year 1998. This was his dream project and he had worked very hard to make it come true. and he had lots of hopes from this.
But fate had something else in mind, Tata Indica didn’t work out and was termed a flop within a year of its launch.
This failure affected Tata Motors a lot and also Mr Ratan Tata on a personal level as he was criticised and mocked largely for his brave but foolish attempt.
The loss to Tata Motors due to this failed experiment was so much, that Ratan Tata decided to sell Tata Motors to luxury car company Ford.
But, during the meeting, the chairman of Ford Company Bill Ford said something to him, which made him change his mind.
“Why did you step into the car business in the first place when didn’t know a thing about cars? We’re doing you a favour by buying your company!”
This very statement made Ratan Tata even more determined to make his car business reach the summits of success. After rigorous market research and a lot of hard work, Tata Motors once again started to walk on the track with the launch of a new version of Indica, Indica V2.
Now, comes the interesting part of the story, tables turned and Ford company almost came on the verge of bankruptcy due to fall in sales of their luxury cars, Jaguar and Land Rover, in 2008.
That’s when Ratan Tata came into the picture and proposed to buy Jaguar and Land Rover. A meeting took place again, and this time, the Chairman of Ford was found saying:
“You’re doing us a favour by buying our company.”
Such was the charisma of the man called Ratan Tata.
There was no stopping to Ratan Tata’s victory fiascos after that. He went on acquiring a lot of companies like Canda’s Tetley company which is the biggest company in the world to make tea-bags. This was the biggest takeover of any foreign company by an Indian company so far.
Being the highly considerate and thoughtful persona, Ratan Tata, to make the ‘dream of owning a car’ of lower-middle-class Indian Families, come true, in 2008 launched Tata Nano, in 1 lakh rupees. Tata Nano was received by open arms from the middle class.
Keeping up with the trends, Tata Group also invested in various online portals like OLA, PayTm, Xiaomi, Snapdeal, Zivame, CashKaro.com, firstcry.com, Lenskart and many more.
In the age of 75 years, Ratan Tata resigned from the chairmanship of Tata Group on 28 December 2012 and appointed Cyrus Mystery as the next chairman, only to remove him after a while.
Ratan remained unmarried all his life, he loves reading books and spends most of his time with his two pets at a flat in Colaba.
You can asses his magic by the fact that in his 21-year long career, he increased the revenue of Tata group by 40% and profit by 50%.
Today, Tata group owns more than 100 companies operating in more than 150 countries.
Ratan Tata was awarded Padm Bbushan in 2000 and then again Padman Vibhusan in 2008, owing to his philanthropic works.