Widely considered the most prominent and respected Indian industrialist and philanthropist, Ratan Naval Tata was born on December 28, 1937, in Surat, Gujarat to one of the richest families.
Ratan Tata studied at the Campion School, Mumbai till the 8th class, followed by Cathedral and John Connon School, Mumbai and at Bishop Cotton School in Shimla and in 1955 graduated from Riverdale Country School in New York City.
Tata scion went to Cornell University to study architecture and structural engineering in 1959. Later in 1975, he pursued a management course from Harvard Business School, an institution which he has since endowed.
His work life and the rise to Chairman of Tata Industries
He worked shortly with Jones and Emmons in Los Angeles, before returning to India in late 1962.
In 1962, he joined the Tata Group and his first job involved working with the Tata Steel division in Jamshedpur where he worked with the blue-collar employees shoveling stones and working with the furnaces.
He was appointed the Director-in-Charge of the National Radio & Electronics Company Limited (Nelco) in 1971. Ratan Tata was successful in turning Nelco around.
In 1981, he was made Chairman of Tata Industries.
During his tenure, Tata Tea acquired Tetley, Tata Motors acquired Jaguar Land Rover, and Tata Steel acquired Corus.
It was Ratan Tata’s attempt to turn Tata industries from a largely India-centrist group into a global business.
Some interesting facts about Ratan Tata
Ratan Tata is deeply fond of flying and is a skilled pilot as well with a license. In 2007 he flew an F-16 Falcon.
In 2009, Ratan Tata promised to make a car that would cost only a lakh and so the Tata Nano was born.
Ratan Tata is very fond of cars and his collection includes Mercedes Benz S-Class, Maserati Quattroporte, Mercedes Benz 500 SL, Jaguar F-Type among others.
In 2010, Tata group companies and Tata charities donated $50 million for the construction of an executive center at Harvard Business School (HBS), which was named Tata Hall.
Tata is the recipient of two of the highest civilian awards of India, the Padma Vibhushan (2008) and Padma Bhushan (2000).
Recently, Tata Sons have successfully won the bidding of Air India at ₹18,000 crores as they took over the debt-laden airline.