Last-week, Mr. Ratan Tata signed off from all of his roles and responsibilities of the Tata Group and hence from Tata Motors. He is the man, whose supreme leadership helped Tata Group to become a $ 100 billion empire today from Rs.14,000 crore revenue in 1991, when he took over as Group Chairman. Now 21 years later, he has left a group that is 51 times larger in terms of turnover and profits.
Mr. Tata itself laid a rule, that he we’ll be stepping down from the chair when he completes 75 years of his age. On 28th December-2012 he turned 75 and handed over the controls of Tata Group to the young and dynamic 44-year old Cyrus Mistry. He spoke some words of warning, advice and encouragement to his successor Cyrus P. Mistry and the 4,56,000 employees at the farewell about how he managed for 21 years.
About Ratan Tata in brief, he joined Tata Group in 1962 at Tata Steel and worked on the shop floor during the initial days. After 29 years from then, in 1991 Legendary Mr. JRD Tata handed over the group’s responsibility to the man who he felt was the most deserving. Though he initially faced many challenges, failures and criticism, he successfully navigated the Tata Group to new heights. In 2008, the Government of India honored Ratan Tata with its second highest civilian award – The Padma Vibhushan.
There aren’t many people who know that his life away from the office, Ratan Tata is crazy about cars this passion is deeply embedded in his DNA. In all these years he has spent most of the time at Tata Motors, a unit of Tata Group. It’s a life that makes you understand why he is so emotionally involved with Tata Motors and why he single-handedly achieved the impossible with the Indica and the Nano.
Even in his personnel life, he love to drive cars and has acquired quite a collection of cars that include Ferrari California, Maserati Quattroporte, Cadillac XLR, Chrysler Sebring, Land Rover Freelander, Mercedes 500 SL, Mercedes S-class and his own Indigo Marina. He spends most Sunday mornings behind the wheel of each of his cars, taking them out one after the other, for a short spin around South Mumbai.
Tata’s vision and ambition drove Tata Motors from being just the truck manufacturer to a successful world class car manufacturer. Let us just have a quick look at some memorable achievements of Tata Motors under the leadership of Mr. Ratan Tata.
1. 1991 – Tata Motors launched its first passenger vehicle called Tata Sierra SUV.
2. 1992 – The company introduced a station wagon named Tata Estate (inspired from Mercedes T-series car).
3. 1994 – Tata Sumo was launched, even on-sale now.
4. 1998 – Tata Motor’s history as a big milestone because the company launched 2 products, the Tata Indica and the Tata Safari in the same year.
5. 2002 – The sedan version of Indica was launched christened ‘Tata Indigo’.
6. 2004 – The station wagon based on Indigo sedan was launched called ‘Tata Indigo Marina’. And the first global automobile acquisition was made by Tata Motors of Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Company of South Korea.
7. 2005 – Tata Motors launched an all-new segment of the Light Commercial Vehicle with a sub 1.0-tonner Tata Ace mini truck.
8. 2007 – The stretched wheelbase version of Indigo was launched named ‘Indigo XL’ (the XL here refers to Extra Large).
9. 2008 – Shorter version of Indigo was introduced named ‘Indigo CS’ (the CS here refers to Compact Sedan). Also the next-generation Indica was launched called ‘Indica Vista’. The most prestigious acquisition made by Tata Motors was of the iconic auto brands – Jaguar & Land Rover from Ford.
10. 2009 – Next-generation Indigo or sedan version of Indica Vista was introduced, called ‘Indigo Manza’. However, the biggest outcome of Ratan Tata’s most ambitious project, the Tata Nano was unveiled. And the company acquired, a fully built European bus manufacturer Hispano Carrocera SA in phased manner.
11. 2010 – The most refined and most advanced Tata product ever, the Tata Aria was launched.
12. In recent times, Ratan Tata has supported projects like Tata Pixel, Vista and Manza hybrid. Besides these, he has actively supported the research of cars that run on Alternative fuels, such as Air and Water (H2O). All the mentioned vehicles are under development.
Tata Motors Major Joint Ventures –
- Tata Marcopolo is 51-49% joint venture between Tata Motors and Marcopolo S.A to manufacture fully built buses and coaches.
- Tata-Fiat joint venture was a 50-50% joint venture between the two companies. With this Tata Motors got access to Fiat’s engine technology and Fiat’s assembly line in India.
Coming back to Ratan Tata’s personal life; on the last working day, he stayed away from the limelight, although there was a very large media presence outside Bombay House on expectations that he may arrive there.
For Tata, it’s a ritual to be in Pune every year on his birthday and spend the year-end there. Through a Twitter post late evening on 30th December-2012, Tata let the world know that he was spending the day with his shop floor colleagues at Tata Motors Ltd’s manufacturing facilities in Pune “to say farewell” to them.
As we said, Tata Motors is a company very close to Tata’s heart. One of the largest innovations that Tata was involved with during his time at the group was the Nano, the world’s cheapest car, developed for the mass market. One of the group’s more successful acquisitions in recent times has been the British car maker Jaguar Land Rover, which is a part of Tata Motors.
“We have been together in good times and bad and have gained a closeness based on mutual trust,” Tata said about Tata Motors’ employees on Twitter. “Going through the plants and receiving greetings from so many colleagues is a great emotional experience.”
Usually you don’t find such lengthy articles in BharathAutos but as I came to know about many interesting facts of Mr. Ratan Tata (he is a role model for me and my favorite car manufacturer), therefore, after doing a research of this article for a couple of days I thought to share with you guys. We sincerely thank Mr. Ratan Tata for all his contribution towards Indian automobile industry. And we also wish Mr. Cyrus Mistry all the best for coming days.
Quotes by Ratan Tata – ‘You should be your own person, you should take your own call and you should decide what you want to do.’