|Full Name||Ratan Naval Tata|
|Profession(s)||Industrialist, Investor, Philanthropist|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 177 cm
in meters- 1.77 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 10”
|Eye Colour||Light Brown|
|Date of Birth||28 December 1937 (Tuesday)|
|Age (as of 2022)||85 Years|
|Birthplace||Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India|
|School||• Campion School, Mumbai
• Cathedral and John Connon School, Mumbai
|College/University||• Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA
• Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
|Educational Qualification(s)||• B.S. degree in architecture with structural engineering from Cornell University, New York
• Advanced Management Programme from Harvard Business School, 1975
|Ethnicity||Parsee (a small, tightly-knit Zoroastrian community, which originates from Persia) The Guardian|
|Food Habit||Non-Vegetarian The Telegraph|
|Address||Ratan Tata lives in a sea-facing three-storeyed house (designed by himself) in Mumbai's Colaba region. daily.bhaskar.com
|Hobbies||Listening to old Hindi Songs, Painting, Driving, Flying Jet Planes, Playing the Piano, Reading, Playing with his pet dogs|
|Awards, Honours||• Padma Bhushan in 2000
• Padma Vibhushan in 2008
• Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 2009
• Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2009
• Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun by the Government of Japan in 2012
• Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (GBE) in 2014
• Commander of the Legion of Honour by the Government of France in 2016
• In October 2022, he received 'Sewa Ratna' from the RSS-affiliated Sewa Bharti for his philanthropic pursuits.
• In April 2023, Order of Australia (AO), Australia’s highest civilian honour, was presented to him for his efforts in strengthening the India-Australia bilateral relations.
• On 19 August 2023, Maharashtra’s first Udyog Ratna award was presented to him by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Ministers Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar at his residence in Mumbai
|Controversies||• In May 2006, Ratan Tata announced plans to manufacture a small car, the Nano, at Singur in West Bengal. After the announcement, he had to face protests from the local farmers who accused the state government of forcibly acquiring their land. In July 2006, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee joined forces with the protestors. In August 2008; however, Ratan Tata announced shifting the project to Gujarat, which was led by the then chief minister Narendra Modi.
• In 2010, his name appeared in the 'Nira Radia Tapes' controversy. The controversy, which broke in November 2010, involved telephone conversations between corporate lobbyist Nira Radia and various industrialists, politicians, journalists, and bureaucrats that were leaked to the press. One of the industrialists whom Radia had spoken to was Ratan Tata. Following the release of these tapes, Tata went to court; seeking a restraint on the media from carrying any more of such tapes.
|Relationships & More|
|Affairs/Girlfriends||In an interview, when asked how many times he had been in love, he replied, "seriously, four times." The Economic Times|
|Parents||Father- Naval Tata (businessman)
Mother- Sooni Commissariat
|Siblings||Brother(s)- Jimmy Tata (businessman), Noel Tata (half-brother) (businessman)
Note: To know more about the Tata family, read our Tata Family Tree post.
|Businessmen||JRD Tata, Jean Riboud (the former chairman of the world's leading oilfield services provider- Schlumberger)|
|Food||Masoor Dal cooked with lots of garlic, Mutton Pulao Dal, and Nut-rich baked custard The Telegraph|
|Car Collection||Ferrari California, Honda Civic, Land Rover Freelander, Maserati Quattroporte, Cadillac XLR, Mercedes Benz 500 SL, Chrysler Sebring, Mercedes Benz S-Class, Jaguar F-Type, Jaguar XF-R|
|Assets/Properties||for detailed information, click here|
|Net Worth (approx.)||$291 billion (as in 2010) Forbes|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Ratan Tata
- Ratan Tata is a name to reckon with in the annals of Tata Group’s business. Although he is one of the most influential businessmen in India, he is best known for his simplicity and loneliness, and the words used most often to describe Ratan Tata are ‘shy’ and ‘loner.’
- During his 21 years of tenure as the Chairman of Tata Group (1991-2012), revenues grew over 40 times, and profit, over 50 times.
- Ratan Tata, in many ways, is an accidental millionaire. He is, in fact, a gifted interloper, who, even after heading one of the biggest business conglomerates in India, lives an ordinary life and shuns the media spotlight. This quiet and humble Indian business tycoon drives himself to work in a Tata sedan.
- Ratan Tata belongs to a family that had everything but children. Traditionally, Parsee priests, the Tata Family got its recognition when Jamsetji Tata opened a textile mill in 1868. Strikingly, it offered workers pension and paid accident compensation, the facilities, which were nowhere in the scene in the Indian business sector.
- Although the Tatas had built up a formidable business by 1971, the family was running out of heirs.
- Ratan’s father, Naval H Tata was born into an ordinary family in Surat. Naval’s parents died when he was too young; leaving him to be raised at an orphanage, but Naval was destined to win life’s lottery and at 13. Naval was adopted by Lady Navajbai Tata (Tata’s formidable matriarch); who had been left childless and widowed at 40. Thereafter, Naval rose to become the deputy chairman of the Tata Group.
- Ratan is, in fact, a Tata by birth; as his biological maternal grandmother was the sister of Hirabai Tata, wife of group founder Jamsetji Tata. Moreover, his biological grandfather, Hormusji Tata, also belonged to the broader Tata Family.
- Unlike the Ratan Tata’s present-day lifestyle of an ordinary person, he spent his childhood in luxury; as he grew up at Tata Palace, a white Baroque revival-style building in the centre of Mumbai; attended by a crew of 50 servants. Reportedly, Ratan was driven to school in a Rolls-Royce.
- While growing up, Ratan became very close to his grandmother, Lady Navajbai Tata. While talking about his grandmother in an interview, he said,
I owe a great deal to my grandmother who brought up my brother and me. She instilled in us what she considered to be proper, And I think that has had a very profound influence on me and my value systems.”
- Ratan Tata’s fascination for America led him there to study architecture at Cornell University. While in the United States, Ratan travelled across the country; washing dishes to make ends meet. The Guardian
- In an interview, Ratan admitted falling in love with a young woman in America. Although he said that he had fallen in love as many as four times, the closest one was with that American woman. He said,
Well, you know one was probably the most serious was when I was working in the US and the only reason we didn’t get married was that I came back to India and she was to follow me and that was the year of the, if you like, the Indo-Chinese conflict and in true American fashion this conflict in the Himalayas, in the snowy, uninhabited part of the Himalayas was seen in the United States as a major war between India and China and so, she didn’t come and finally got married in the US thereafter.” The Economic Times
- Ratan Tata joined Tata Group in 1961 at the Tata Steel, where he was assigned the responsibility to shovel limestone & handle blast furnace.
- His pragmatic business skills led him to become the Chairman of Tata Group in March 1991; when JRD Tata stepped down as chairman of Tata Sons, naming Ratan his successor.
- Under his stewardship, Tata Group became an international conglomerate, and he got Tata Tea to acquire Tetley, Tata Motors to acquire Jaguar Land Rover, and Tata Steel to acquire Corus.
- Before Nano Car came into the business in 2008, Ratan Tata had already gifted India its first indigenous car- Tata Indica in 1998. In one of his Instagram posts, he wrote about the birth of India’s first indigenous car-
Everyone told us it couldn’t be done without having a joint venture or a partnership with an international company. That if I did this, I will be linked to failure. But went ahead anyway. There were technical issues and many lessons we learned. It was a wonderful experience to be breaking new ground. The chances to give up were many. We stayed the course, worked out each issue, and that was the birth of India’s first indigenous car- Tata Indica.”
- Before Ratan Tata took the charge of Tata Group, there was no retirement age in Tata. He drafted a retirement policy in the company and fixed retirement age for executive and nonexecutive directors. While talking about this retirement policy in an interview, he said,
One may feel that 65 is too young or 70 is too young or that 75 is too young. Whatever it may be, you don’t need a person to say, look, I think you should leave. So that has been very much behind the thinking of setting a retirement age. There was no retirement age in Tata. I could’ve just as well have stayed up and stayed on.”
- Ratan Tata is very affectionate towards dogs and has two pet dogs- Maximus and Tito. Since the days of JRD Tata, the Bombay House (the Headquarters of Tata Sons) has a tradition of letting stray dogs in during rain. The Bombay House still has a kennel for stray dogs.
- On 23 March 2009, he launched his dream car- Tata Nano, and it was considered as the world’s cheapest car priced at Rs. 1 lakh.
- He is a trained pilot and on 8 February 2007, he became the first Indian to fly F-16.
- Although he is a professional architect, he has designed only two houses- his mother’s, and his own beach-house off the Arabian sea.
- When it comes to his closest friends, he gives two names- Amar Bose who made billions from audio equipment, and conductor Zubin Mehta (a fellow Mumbai Parsee) who lives in the United States.
- What makes Ratan Tata outstanding is his social conscience. He prefers fairness over money, and he owns less than 1% of the Tata group.
- In September 2022, Ratan Tata became the trustee of the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES) along with KT Thomas, former Supreme Court judge, and Kariya Munda, former Deputy Speaker. The Indian Express