Ratan Tata's Trials and Triumphs
In the old Fort area of Bombay, where the British once had their mercantile offices, is a stately stone building called Bombay House. It's the headquarters of the $12.8 billion Tata group of companies, run since 1868 by the Tata family. Presiding over the conglomerate today is Ratan N. Tata, 67, a descendant of founder Jamsetji Tata. The patrician and courteous Ratan Tata has been chairman of the group since 1991.
He has had a hard tenure, but Tata is emerging as a victor. He has restructured the group, defied skeptics by developing and rolling out an indigenously developed passenger car, which is now India's third most popular, and remade himself from a shy, reclusive man into a confident chieftain.
Not many know that he came to India with a job offer from IBM in the U.S. But in the first few days J.R.D. was really upset that he was not working in the group. At that time, the IBM office had the only electric typewriter. J.R.D. asked me for his résumé,
He says his best times are now. Then the success of developing the Indica was another best time. And when he wiped out our losses at Nelco .
Ratan Tata thinks that his darkest moment was in the '80s, when the Tatas didn't support keeping Empress Mills alive. It was the first company that Jamsetji Tata started. The group needed to spend only a small sum at that time, just $630,000. It was literally that key moment of support. To quote him "It made me feel bad because I felt we had let everybody down. "
But today he is a content man who has turned around Tata Steel ,Tata Motors and made TCS a global IT giant with the group itself making global footprints.
Ratan Tata visualises that in the next few years the following companies to be the international face of the group: TCS, Tata Motors, Indian Hotels Co., and to some extent, one which won't be that visible, is Tata Power