It was the pre-independence era. The country was ruled by the British. It is from 1937. In those days the Tata group was the strongest industrial house in the country. Ratan was born in this family. Naval Tata was adopted by Sir Ratan Tata, son of Jamsetji Tata, the founder of the group, Ratan Tata is the son of Naval Tata. Ratan’s childhood was not pleasant. When he was ten years old, his parents divorced. At that time his younger brother Jimmy was only seven years old. Dadi Nawazbai Tata did not let the family disintegrate in this difficult time. He kept both the grandsons with him, raising them. There was never any shortage of Aishoram in the family. There was a large industrial house.
There was an army of servants and servants in the house. Ratan got what he wanted. But there was a lot of lack of parents in the mind. Perhaps circumstances had made him a child of a very calm nature. Most of his time was spent in studies. Like other children, mischief or stubbornness has never been in their habit. He became sensible and responsible before time. The grandson did not miss the mother, so the grandmother cried a lot. Besides, there should be good rites inside the grandson, he took full care of this.
Grandma had the passion to help others. Whether it was about the help of sick people or the issue of education of poor children, she never lagged behind. These things had a profound effect on Ratan’s mind. Ratan says- Grandmother was very kind. Whether she was a servant who worked at home or people begging in the street, she helped everyone. Seeing them, this feeling was born in me also. Ratan did his schooling in Mumbai. After this, grandmother sent him to America. He returned home in 1962 after pursuing an Architect BS from Cornell University, when the family entrusted him with business responsibilities. Ratan fulfilled all these with seriousness. Now the great grandfather was convinced that the grandson was fully ready to take over the legacy of the Aughogic household.
In 1991, he became the chairman of the Tata group. Many senior people in the company did not like this. He questioned Ratan’s ability. He said that he is a young boy, he does not know how to run a business. But Ratan Tata proved all those fears wrong. He says- Grandpa was accompanied by a team of senior officers. Apparently, he did not like to be my chairman. Things were difficult. On the one hand, I had to take everyone along, on the other hand many difficult decisions had to be taken for the growth of the company. The first five years have been tough. It was time to prove himself. Every step had to be taken thoughtfully. Every decision was monitored by senior officials. His decisions were opposed at times, objections were made at times, but he never panicked. Ratan says- keep all those stones which people throw at you. Later use those stones to build a strong monument.
Ratan further expanded the Tata group empire by acquiring companies like Jaguar Land Rover and Corus in the Tata group. Under his leadership, the company set a new distance for growth. He realized the common man’s dream of traveling in a car by making a car like Nano. The Tata group grew in scope and profits over time. There were many ups and downs in this journey, but Ratan never deterred. Many pressures came, but they did not compromise their values. Ratan says- Some people may have been saddened by some of my decisions, but I want people to recognize me as a person who did not compromise with the wrong things under any circumstances.
Ratan Tata was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2000 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2008. Interestingly, despite achieving fame and elevation, he never spoke of his success. He does not like to talk about his private life in public forums. Ratan says- I stay away from the headlines. I do not like showing off. So usually I keep a distance from the media. It is better to do some good work than talk.
After taking retirement almost three years ago, he said that now I want to spend the rest of my life in the good of society. As the head of philanthropic organizations of the Tata group, he is involved in many welfare activities in the country. Ratan says- We are emphasizing on research about diseases like cancer, diabetes so that common people can get cheaper treatment. We are also working towards reducing poverty in rural areas. Ending poverty should be the biggest issue.