Ratan Tata: Leading the Tata Group into the 21st Century
Ratan Tata is widely recognized as the person responsible for transforming the Tata Group, a large India-based conglomerate, from an unwieldy collection of businesses into a relatively more nimble group of companies better prepared to take advantage of opportunities. The case discusses Ratan Tata's early days at the Tata Group and his attempts to change the processes, people and work culture at the Group companies. It explains the steps that he took in order to inject professionalism in the Group. It briefly examines the two directions for growth - innovation and globalization - that he chose for the Group companies.
Tata Group Case Study - The Tata Titans
The Tata Group,Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, the Tata group’s early years were inspired by the spirit of nationalism. The group pioneered several industries of national importance in India: steel, power, hospitality and airlines. In more recent times, the Tata group’s pioneering spirit has been showcased by companies like Tata Consultancy Services, India’s first software company, which pioneered the international delivery model, and Tata Motors, which made India’s first indigenously developed car, the Indica, in 1998 and recently unveiled the world’s lowest-cost car, the Tata Nano, for commercial launch by end of 2008.
The Tata group has always believed in returning wealth to the society it serves. Two-thirds of the equity of Tata Sons, the Tata group’s promoter company, is held by philanthropic trusts which have created national institutions in science and technology, medical research, social studies and the performing arts. The trusts also provide aid and assistance to NGOs in the areas of education, healthcare and livelihoods. Tata companies also extend social welfare activities to communities around their industrial units. The combined development-related expenditure of the Trusts and the companies amounts to around 4 per cent of the group’s net profits.
Going forward, the group is focusing on new technologies and innovation to drive its business in India and internationally. The Nano car is one example, as is the Eka supercomputer (developed by another Tata company), which in 2008 is ranked the world’s fourth fastest. The group aims to build a series of world class, world scale businesses in select sectors. Anchored in India and wedded to its traditional values and strong ethics, the group is building a multinational business which will achieve growth through excellence and innovation, while balancing the interests of its shareholders, its employees and wider society.
The House of Tatas is one of the oldest business groups in India. Not many Indians would need an introduction to the House of Tatas. The group is largely operated through a holding company, namely, Tata Sons. We provide a brief historical overview and then proceed with describing the recent restructuring exercise and other changes made.Established by Jamsetji Tata in the second half of the 19th century, the Group has grown into one of India's biggest and most respected business organizations, largely due to the entrepreneur’s vision, their commitment, and its fortitude in the face of adversity (Lala, 2004). Of the ventures that did bear fruit while Jamsetji was alive, the Taj Mahal Hotel in Bombay has to rank highest.
JRD Tata’s was born in Paris in 1904, the year Jamshetji died. JRD’s education was constantly interrupted and at twenty-one when he came to settle in India, his father, a director of Tatas, took his son to the room of John Peterson, who was then director in-charge of Tata Steel. Thus began JRD’s training and his tryst with business. At the age of thirty four, he was made chairman of Tata Sons. Right from the beginning JRD stamped his style of working on the organization. He started the process of devolution of power for the democratization of the Tatas. JRD hand picked many of the Tata company...
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