Ratan Tata

Ratan Tata

Starting his career in 1961 on the shop floor of Tata Steel, shovelling limestone and handling the blast furnace, he was made the Chairman of Tata Sons by JRD Tata in 1991. Under his stewardship, Tata Tea acquired Tetley, Tata Motors acquired Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Steel acquired Corus transforming the Tata Group into a global business house, whose 65% revenues come from abroad. His role was also prime in the development of the world’s cheapest passenger car, Tata Nano. His vision and trust in the young and promising business leaders was conspicuous when he invested his personal savings in Snapdeal – one of India’s leading e-Commerce websites.


During his tenure, the group’s revenues grew manifold, totalling over $100 billion in 2011–12. Even after retirement in 2012 on his 75th birthday, he remains super-involved through various memberships and affiliations, including chairmanship emeritus of Tata Sons, Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Sir Ratan Tata Trust and the Council of Management of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research; and membership of the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry and the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council. He serves on the board of trustees of Cornell University and University of Southern California, on the board of directors of Alcoa Inc., and on the international advisory boards of Mitsubishi Corporation, JP Morgan Chase, Rolls-Royce, Temasek Holdings and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He has received Padma Vibhushan in 2008 and Padma Bhushan in 2000 – the second- and third-highest civilian honours awarded by the Government of India.


Ratan Tata was generally considered by the top business leaders of the country, the flag bearer of international dreams of India Inc. when he was at the helm of affairs at the Tata Group. However, he always found the fact “awkward to acknowledge”.

Those who know him closely wouldn’t be surprised by his down-to-earth attitude, as he is a very private person. However, when it came to colossal or seemingly impossible business targets, he made them appear simple and without the usual corporate struggles.

In the 16 years he was leading the Tata Group, he transformed the disjointed group into a cohesive global organization and increased the net worth of the organization from Rs. 13,000 crore to Rs. 129,994 crore.


Ratan Tata is a skillful leader and a man of ideas. In his typical high “dare quotient” style, he is recognized for increasing the competitiveness of the Group, going global with acute wisdom, and aggressively acquiring in cross-border deals, without compromising on the ethics of the Group.

He is part of the Tata legacy, but has carved a commanding height of his own.

He successfully filled JRD Tata’s shoes and proved himself another worthy legend in the Indian business community.