Built to last: Brand Tata

Dec 28 2012, 12:00 IST
Comments 0
Ratan Tata Ratan Tata
SummaryWhen Ratan Tata steps down as leader of the Tata Group, it will be a landmark moment in the groups history.


Ratan Tata began his schooling at South Bombays Campion School. Followed by a stint at Bishop Cotton in Shimla and finished off back in Bombay at Cathedral and John Connon School.

Goes to the US for higher studies Late 1950s

After finishing school, Ratan Tata went to Cornell University in the US to study BS in architecture with structural engineering. He graduated in 1962 and returned a few years later to the United States to complete the Advanced Management Program from Harvard Business School in 1975.

Joined family business 1962

After completing his graduate degree in Cornell, Tata worked briefly in Jones and Emmons, an architecture firm in Los Angeles. In late 1962, Tata returned home to join Tata Steel, on the advice of then chairman of the group JRD Tata. Initially, Ratan Tata worked on the shop floor of Tata Steels Jamshedpur plant shovelling limestone and handling the blast furnace.

Began managerial career at Tata Group 1971

Having served at various positions in different group companies, Ratan Tatas managerial career at the Tata Group kicked off when he was appointed the director-in-charge of National Radio and Electronics Company (NELCO) which sold radios and televisions.

Turbulent times 1971-1974

In an era of licence-permit raj, Ratan Tata struggled to put the NELCO business back on track. Critics said he was out of depth. Barely 2% market share and mounting losses slowed the turnaround of the company. Just when Tata managed to put things right at NELCO, Emergency was declared and quickly NELCO was near collapse again. In such a backdrop, Ratan Tata joined the board of directors of Tata Sons Ltd in 1974.

Fresh start, but struggles continue 1974-81

Ratan Tatas next assignment at the group was not any easier than NELCO. He took charge of Empress Mills at 1977.

Having been refused a R50 lakh investment to turn around the textile mill followed by Mumbais textile mill workers strike, Empire Mills floundered and finally closed in 1986.

First signs of a future leader 1981-1991

Amidst criticism from several quarters, JRD Tata stepped down as chairman of Tata Industries, the groups second promoter holding company and handed over the reins to Ratan Tata in 1981. Immediately, Ratan Tata got down to work and drew up a group strategic plan in 1983 which emphasised on venturing into high-technology businesses, focussing on select markets and products,

Single Page Format
Ads by Google

More from FE Special

Reader´s Comments
| Post a Comment
Please Wait while comments are loading...