Ratan Tata: Success Story Of A Legendary Businessman

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Establishing a successful empire isn’t a cakewalk. It is not just limited to an impressive business model and ideas, but an unprecedented fortitude and zeal to excel. This is well evident from the success story of Ratan Tata, the former chairman of Tata Group.

Early life, education and initial years of success:

Ratan Tata was born on December 28, 1937 in Surat. His parents Naval Tata and Sonoo  Tata separated when he Ratan Tatawas ten years old. He only has a half-brother named Noel Tata. He completed his schooling from Cathedral and John Connon School (Mumbai) and Bishop Cotton School (Shimla). Tata further attained a Bachelors’ degree in Architecture from the Cornell University, USA, and then pursued an Advanced Management Program from the Harvard Business School, USA.

Tata never believed in blindly conforming to the norms set by the society. He had an unconventional approach towards marriage.

“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,” he says.

Ratan Tata began his career in the Tata group in 1961. However, it was in the year 1971 that he attained commendable success for the first time. He took charge of the National Radio and Electronics (Nelco) as its Director at a time when the company was undergoing a major down phase. It was struggling hard with 40% losses and a market share of meagre 2%. However, under the aegis of Ratan Tata, the company reclaimed 25% share of the consumer electronics market within a short span of time. Though the venture could not survive in the long run due to an economic recession, Ratan Tata’s contribution to it has been laudable.

Ratan TataLater, Ratan Tata succeeded JRD Tata as the chairman of Tata Sons in 1991. With this, a number of robust changes were introduced in the company. Ratan Tata laid great emphasis on the need for innovation and streamlined all the overlapping operations of the company.

“I have been constantly telling people to encourage people, to question the unquestioned and not to be ashamed to bring up new ideas, new processes to get things done,” he once said.

In his successful career spanning over 21 years in the Tata Group, there was over 40 times increase in the company’s revenues, and the profit multiplied over 50 times. However, despite achieving various milestones, Ratan Tata never showed any sign of slowing when it came to success.

“One hundred years from now, I expect the Tatas to be much bigger than it is now. More importantly, I hope the Group comes to be regarded as being the best in India. Best in the manner in which we operate, best in the products we deliver, and best in our value systems and ethics. Having said that, I hope that a hundred years from now we will spread our wings far beyond India,” he said.

Today, Ratan Tata’s Net worth is estimated to be more than $85 billion. He lives in his private mansion. Spanning over 13,350 sq Ft, Ratan Tata’s House is undoubtedly among the best residences in the country.

Well-known for his philanthropy, Ratan Tata has always had utmost commitment towards the society. “Business need to go beyond the interest of their companies to the communities they serve,” he believes.

Having a major concern towards the society, Ratan Tata donated a huge proportion of his company’s revenue for various noble initiatives related to education, medicine and rural development.

Awards and Accolades

Ratan Tata Awards

A number of prestigious awards and accolades bestowed upon Ratan Tata hold a mirror to his overall excellence and expertise. Padma Vibhushan (2008) and Padma Bhushan (2000) are among the most notable ones. Others in the list include:

 S.No.  Awards & Honours
 1. Commander of the Legion of Honour (2016)
 2. Sayaji Ratna Award (2015)
 3. Honorary Doctor of Automotive Engineering (2015)
 4. Honorary Doctor of Laws (2014)
 5. Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (GBE) (2014)
 6. Sayaji Ratna Award (2014)
 7. Honorary Doctor of Business (2014)
 8. Honorary Doctorate (2013)
 9. Honorary Doctor of Business Practice (2013)
 10. §  Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Lifetime Achievement (2013)
 11. Transformational Leader of the Decade (2013)
 12. Foreign Associate (2013)
 13. Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun (2012)
 14. Doctor of Business honoris causa (2012)
 15. Honorary Fellow (2012)
 16. Business Leader of the Year (2010)
 17. Business for Peace Award (2010)
 18. Honorary Doctor of Laws (2010)
 19. Legend in Leadership Award (2010)
 20. Oslo Business for Peace award (2010)
 21. §  Hadrian Award (2010)
 22. Honorary Doctor of Law (2010)
 23. Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (2009)
 24. Life Time Contribution Award in Engineering for 2008 (2009)
 25. Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) (2009)
 26. Inspired Leadership Award (2008)
 27. Honorary Fellowship (2008)
 28. Honorary Citizen Award (2008)
 29. Honorary Doctor of Science (2008)
 30. Honorary Doctor of Science (2008)
 31. Honorary Doctor of Law (2008)
 32. Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy (2007)
 33. Honorary Fellowship (2007)
 34.  Responsible Capitalism Award (2006)
 35. §  Honorary Doctor of Science (2006)
 36. Honorary Doctor of Science (2005)
 37. International Distinguished Achievement Award (2005)
 38. Honorary Doctor of Technology (2004)
 39. Medal of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay (2004)
 40. Honorary Doctor of Business Administration (2001)


Success stories of the maverick entrepreneurs like him are a source of inspiration to many aspiring businessmen. With such laudable achievements, Ratan Tata is indeed a name to reckon with when we talk about roaring success.

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