Ratan Naval Tata is a well known and appreciated Indian industrialist and philanthropist known for his ethical business tactics. He is the grandson of Jamsedji Tata, who is the founder of Tata Group. Ratan Tata is the chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Groups. As the chairman of the company, he achieved international recognition by his bold ideas and hard work. His determination to the company brought them to the New York Stock Exchange, and the corporation was able to acquire many companies, including Tetley, Jaguar Land Rover, and Corus. Ratan Tata shows the energy and hardwork needed for a company to reach a very high level. His inspiring story of success and way of managing business operations has made an image of a role model for ambitious entrepreneurs in India.
Childhood and Education
Ratan Naval Tata was born on December 28, 1937, in Mumbai in one of the wealthiest families. People misinterpret him of having a luxurious happy life with no worries or problems, but he never took money and reputation for granted even after being born in a wealthy family. Though from a prestigious family, Ratan Tata had a very disturbed childhood. He saw his parents getting separated when he was ten, which significantly impacted him as a child. He had a younger brother, Jimmy, who was just eight at that phase of his life. His parents Mr. Naval Tata and Mrs. Sonoo Tata, tried their best to make their children happy and spend more time with them, but they never grew unitedly. Ratan Tata’s grandmother, Lady Navajbai, looked after him and played a significant role in his childhood. He learned his disciplined way of living and his grandmother’s leadership qualities, as she was a strict woman herself.
He started his education journey at Campion School and ended at Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai. Further, he went to Cornell University in New York to study architecture and structural engineering and successfully acquire his B.S Degree. Later, he enrolled in a program known as the Advanced Management Program in 1975 at Harvard Business School.
A Career Full of Challenges
Ratan Tata faced many problems professionally. He struggled with many mental as well as physical issues at work. In 1962, Ratan Tata started his career in Tata Groups itself. He initially worked with the shop’s floor and furnace among the blue-collar staff at Tata Steel for approximately ten years, which increased his family business determination. Later, in 1971, he was appointed as the Director-in-Charge of National Radio & Electronics Company Limited (NELCO) as it was facing financial problems, and it wasn’t functioning as expected. Ratan Tata had many ideas and plans for this company to get back on track, but the economic recession and union strikes played a role of obstacles in his way to success. In 1977, Ratan Tata was handling the Empress Mills as facing a difficult time. He had astounding ideas for the Mills to run successfully, but the employees disapproved of his thoughts. In the year 1991, Mr. J.R.D Tata appointed Ratan Tata as the chairman of the TATA Group of Companies. He was not as experienced as a chairman should be, but he proved everyone by his bold ideas and innovative strategies to handle the responsibility.
In 2012, Ratan Tata retired from his position as chairman of TATA Groups of Companies, and Cyrus Mystery took it. Eventually, Cyrus Mystery was removed from that position as he refused to follow the principles that were the root of the company’s success.
During his ownership period, the company launched India’s first truly Indian car called “Indica.” In 2000 Tata’s food division acquired Tetley for GBP 70 million. In the year 2009-10, the group’s revenue increased up to 12-fold, which was a vast step towards success only because of Ratan Tata’s ethical way of managing a business. In the year 2000, he was praised by Padma Bhushan by the government of India. He also achieved a privileged doctorate in business administration by Ohio State University and a doctorate by The Asian Institute of Technology of Bangkok, and a doctorate in science by the University of Warwick. His strategies and smart opinions helped the corporation grow from an infamous company to a billion-dollar company.
The young entrepreneurs and beginners in business look up to Ratan Tata’s words and follow his steps on a path full of obstacles, but the destination is a success. He addressed the young entrepreneurs in one of the events and said that it doesn’t matter what one does until he believes it’s right. Among thousands of ideas, only a few dare to come up with something, which makes them different from everyone.
Managing a company on an international scale is very difficult as it seems, and encouraged a lot by Ratan Tata. Nobody can break his belief and confidence in his ideas, not even his workers or employees. He stands by his plan, and he stands by the idea of it.
When he joined the company, it didn’t have a good reputation and wasn’t good enough in revenue. Though he is a very successful industrialist, not all of his ventures have been successful so far. He faced many failures in business, and one of them is the idea of Nano miniature cars. Ratan Tata brought the Nano cars’ concept to concern for nuclear families’ safety who travel through two-wheelers. He specially asked for the vehicle to include just one windscreen wiper. This idea reduced its price and maintenance cost. The statement didn’t go as planned and wasn’t successful. At that period, the company didn’t have any innovative ideas anymore, so; Ratan Tata organized a contest in which the one who will have the most failure idea will be rewarded. This contest helped the employees to have an open mindset and to think out of the box.
Ratan Tata with a Patriotic Heart
Ratan Tata is not only a business-minded person but also a kind-hearted one. He keeps his nation and the people of this nation above his money and business. This character is rare to see in a businessman, as they are presumed to be all about money and power. It is astonishing to know that Ratan Tata gives 65% of his business to charity. In the 21st century, we experienced a terrorist attack on November 26, 2008, at the Taj Hotel, owned by TATA Group. Ratan Tata is a responsible citizen, stood in front of the hotel unarmed, and supervised the activities to help the victims. He also requested that the employees’ salaries working there won’t be deducted during the hotel’s remodeling. He visited the families of the dead or injured employees to help them in however way possible. The injured vendors outside the hotel were given money and taken care of by him. During the hotel’s remodeling period, the two most prominent Pakistani industrialists came to meet Ratan Tata without an appointment and were sent from there, being told that Ratan Tata is busy. They both went to Delhi and asked one of the Congress Ministers to fix an appointment with him. Ratan Tata turned them down, and they went back to Pakistan. He also broke a business deal with the Pakistan industry as he wanted no relation with them. These actions set a patriotic character for Ratan Tata that money and business is nothing beyond the nation.
The lessons we learned from Ratan Tata’s life
Taking Ratan Tata’s life as a lesson, we learned many things that can be implemented to achieve our goals.
- No matter how challenging the situation is, either financially or mentally, even when your team or people close to you won’t support you, you have to believe in your own decisions and plans.
- His life inspires us to be humble and have humility. Helping others should be our constant action in life even though you become a known and successful person. Money and power shouldn’t come in the way of your humble nature.
- Taking risks in our life is an essential lesson as it shows us the practical way of living, which is being on edge. Living on the edge is risky but also profitable for the company. Though sometimes it won’t be in your favor, you have to believe in your ideas even if they are scary.
- Ratan Tata can motivate others by being himself, which makes him special in a unique way. Inspiring others should be a goal so that they, along with you, can bring change.
- As per a famous quote by Ratan Tata, ‘Take the stones people throw at you and use them to build a monument.’ When you do something to achieve your goal, not everyone will appreciate you for your work, but instead, they will criticize and try to drag you down. You should be open about it and take those comments as positive criticism, which is a perfect attitude to obtain your life goals.
- Mr. Ratan Tata believes in investing in different companies that will keep his investments safe. Investing in other companies helps in protecting your company no matter what state those companies go through.
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