Ratan Tata scripts an enviable legacy

Ratan Tata
New Delhi, Nov 23: From fighting fiefdoms to catapulting Tata Group to an over USD 80 billion conglomerate, Ratan N Tata's legacy will be a hard task to emulate.

At the helm of affairs for over two decades, Tata's journey has seen Tatas transforming itself into a global conglomerate with landmark acquisitions of Corus and Jaguar Land Rover, among others.

An architect by qualification, Tata is also credited with pioneering the world's cheapest car Nano.

Tata, who joined the Group way back in 1962, became the Chairman of its holding company Tata Sons in 1991 amid stiff resistance from within.

"We had fiefdoms that were going in different directions ... We had companies in the same business competing with one another. We had uncontrolled entry into new businesses," Tata was quoted as saying in the book 'The Evolution of Corporate Brand' that reminisces about the group in the late 1980s.

The book, penned by Morgen Witzel, was released in 2010. The 74-year-old patriarch is known for his simplicity and is credited with turning around the group, whose revenues stood at over USD 83 billion in 2010-11, with 58 per cent of the total amount coming from overseas businesses.

After serving in various group companies, he was appointed Director-in-Charge of the National Radio and Electronics Company in 1971.

Ten years later, he was named Chairman of Tata Industries, the group's other promoter holding company, where he was responsible for transforming it into a group strategy think-tank, and a promoter of new ventures in high technology businesses.


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