Ratan Naval Tata was born on 28 December 1937, into a wealthy and famous family of Mumbai. Born to Naval Hormusji Tata and Sooni Tata, he is the great-grandson of the founder of the Tata Group, Jamsetji Tata. The opposite of what one would expect, Ratan Tata went through a troubled childhood. His parents separated during the mid-1940s when he was just 7 years old. Thereafter, he was brought up and raised by his grandmother.
Ratan Tata went to Campion School, Bombay, followed by Bishop Cotton School, Shimla. He later came back and went to Cathedral and John Connon School, Mumbai to complete his schooling. Ratan completed his B.S. in Architecture in 1962 from Cornell University, New York and got an Advanced Management Program degree from Harvard Business School, the US in 1975.
As advised by J.R.D Tata, Ratan turned down the job offer from IBM to join the family business.
In December 1962, Ratan joined the Tata Group. He joined Jamshedpur to work at Tata Steel. He worked as a blue-collar employee till 1971 and was promoted as the Director-In-Charge at the National Radio & Electronics Company Limited. The company was going through a rough financial phase at that time. Ratan suggested Nelco should invest in developing high technology products other than consumer electronics. J.R.D was initially reluctant to do so, due to the financial performance of Nelco, but he still followed Ratan’s suggestions and the company eventually recovered all its damages.
Ratan Tata took over as Chairman of Tata Industries in 1981. Here, he was responsible for promoting new ventures in high-technology businesses. Later in 1991, he took over as the group Chairman from J.R.D Tata. It was then that he pushed out the old guard and ushered in young managers. Ever since then, Ratan has been instrumental in reshaping the fortune of the Tata Group.
It is only because of his vision and sincere effort that today Tata Group holds the largest market capitalization than any other business house in the Indian Stock Market.
Achivements and Awards:-
The legendry business magnate, Ratan Naval Tata, has bagged countless awards during his entrepreneurial journey. Amongst the most important national awards he won were ‘Padma Bhushan’ in 2000 and ‘Padma Vibhushan’ in 2008.
Ratan Tata was also honoured in Economic Education as the 26th Robert S. Hatfield Fellow. This is the most prestigious and highest award given by Cornell University. Even the London School of Economics awarded him with an honorary doctorate.
Five interesting facts about Ratan Tata:-
- Serial start-up investor:
Not many people know that Ratan Tata is an avid investor and has invested in several start-ups across several sectors ranging from the media to e-commerce. There is hardly any domain which Tata has not invested in. It should be noted that he has invested in over 30 start-ups, staying true to his statement of “putting faith in fresh talent”.
- Came close to marriage 4 times:
Clearly, this admission by Mr Tata came as a surprise to many. In an interview with CNN International’s Talk Asia in 2011, the business mogul admitted that he came close to getting married four times! He said: “I came seriously close to getting married four times and each time I backed off in fear or for one reason or another”. “Each occasion was different, but in hindsight when I look at the people involved; it wasn’t a bad thing what I did. I think it may have been more complex had the marriage taken place.”
- Loves cars:
Not many would know but Ratan Tata’s love for cars is unmatched. Under his watch, the group acquired many brands such as the Land Rover, Jaguar and Range Rover. While these brands were acquired to take Tata Motors into the international market, he is also the one under whom India got its first ‘people’s car’ or Tata Nano, which was available initially at just Rs 1 lakh. The company, under his guidance, has driven several car projects which became very popular in India in the early 2000s.
- Born rich but troubled childhood:
Ratan Tata was born into a rich family on December 28, 1937. The 80-year-old was born to Naval Hormusji Tata and Sooni Tata. Tata’s life became difficult when he was just 7 in the mid-1940s after his parents separated. Since then, he was raised by his grandmother along with his younger brother Jimmy.
- Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awardee:
Ratan Tata is only a handful of businessmen and traders in India who have won the second and third highest civilian awards for excellence and contribution in the field of trade and industry. Tata won the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award, in the year 2000 and was bestowed with the Padma Vibhushan in 2008.