Ratan Naval Tata is best known as the chairperson of India’s largest conglomerate, the Tata Group. The company was founded by his great grandfather, Jamsetji Tata. Ratan Tata is also the chairperson of several major businesses such as Tata Chemicals, Tata Tea, Tata Power, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Teleservices and Tata Consultancy Services.
Ratan Tata was born to an affluent life under the Tata family, a renowned family in Mumbai. He had a distressed childhood due to the separation of his parents; his mother left him and his brother under the care of Lady Navajbai, their grandmother. Nevertheless, in 1962, Ratan Tata completed a bachelor’s degree in engineering major in structural engineering at Cornell University, and he later on took an Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 1975.
In December 1962, Ratan Tata joined the Tata Group. His early days in the business world were quite humble, especially when compared to his present status. At Tata Steel, along with other blue-collar employees, Ratan Tata handled blast furnaces and shoveled limestone. In 1981, he became the chairperson of Tata Industries, the second Tata promoter company.
Ratan Tata is admired by many and as proof of this, has earned several awards in his career:
• In 2008, the Indian government honored him with its second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan.
• He has also been bestowed an honorary doctorate in business administration by the Ohio State University.
• He also has an honorary doctorate in technology from the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok.
• He received an honorary doctorate from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.
• He was acknowledged as among the 25 most powerful people in business by Fortune magazine in November 2007.
• In May 2008, Ratan Tata made it to the Time magazine’s 2008 list of the World’s Most Influential People.
Ratan Naval Tata is the current chairman of India’s largest conglomerate, founded by his ancestor Jamsedji Tata, the Tata Group.
With a long list of awards and recognition, Ratan Tata is considered as one of India’s most respected business leaders.
Ratan Tata turned down a job with IBM before he joined the Tata Group in 1962.