Ratan Naval Tata (RNT), born on December 28, 1937, is the Chairman of the Tata Group (Tata Sons), the US$ 63 bn(around Rs 251,543 Crores) Indian conglomerate founded by by Mr. JN Tata in 1868, which employs around 350,000 people worldwide, and has businesses spanning from Salt and Tea to Steel & Supercars.
He is also chairman of other Tata companies, including Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Tea, Tata Chemicals, Indian Hotels, Tata Teleservices and Tata AutoComp Systems.
Under his stewardship, the Group’s revenues have exploded more than ten-fold since 1991,61% of which now come from international operations.
He was the force behind Group’s changeover from an Indian business house to a very powerful international conglomerate from India. He had the conviction to acquire leading institutions abroad including Corus Steel, Jaguar-Land Rover, Daewoo CVs, Tetley Tea, Brunner Mond, among countless others. As a result, the Tata brand was recently valued at $11.4 billion and ranked 57th among the world’s Top 100 brands.
Businessweek magazine ranked Tata sixth among the ‘World’s Most Innovative Companies’ and the Reputation Institute, USA, recently rated it as the ‘World’s Sixth Most Reputed Firm.’ That’s what RNT has done to the Group.
Besides the Group companies, Mr. Tata is associated with various organisations in India and abroad. He is chairman of the Government of India’s Investment Commission and a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry, the National Hydrogen Energy Board and the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council.
Mr. Tata also serves on the boards of Fiat SpA and Alcoa. He also serves on the International Investment Council of the Republic of South Africa and the UK Prime Minister’s Business Council for Britain. He is a member of the International Advisory Council of Singapore’s Economic Development Board, the Asia-Pacific Advisory Committee to the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange and of the international advisory boards of the Mitsubishi Corporation, the American International Group, JP Morgan Chase and Rolls Royce !
Further, Mr. Tata is the president of the court of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and chairman of the Council of Management of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. He is a member of the board of trustees of Cornell University and the University of Southern California and of the Foundation Board of the Ohio State University.
He also chairs two of the largest private sector promoted philanthropic trusts in India. Additionally, he is a member of the Global Business Council on HIV/AIDS and the Programme Board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation‘s India AIDS Initiative.
Not at all surprisingly, the Government of India honoured Mr. Tata with its second highest civilian award, the ‘Padma Vibhushan’, in 2008. Earlier, in 2000, he had been awarded the‘Padma Bhushan’.
He has also been conferred an honorary doctorate in business administration by the Ohio State University, an honorary doctorate in technology by the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, an honorary doctorate in science by the University of Warwick, and an honorary fellowship by the London School of Economics, and an honorary doctorate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
RNT was listed as the 12th most powerful business leader in Asia by the Fortune magazine in 2007. In May 2008, Mr. Tata made it to the Time magazine‘s 2008 list of the World’s 100 most influential people !!
To top all of that, Forbes magazine, very recently, opined that Mr. Ratan Tata be brought into politics, calling him India’s most respected business leader, and also calling him India’s Barack Obama, who could unite the country and march the nation forward at a traumatic time.
Lastly, he’s single (never married), lives in a bachelor pad amidst books & pet dogs, drives his own car (sometimes), and doesn’t surface at all at any social events. He’s an architect by education from the Cornell Uni (USA), Class of 1962, and has completed the AMP at Harvard Business School (USA) in 1975.
Such are the feats of this LEGEND, truly unparalleled !!!