Ratan Naval Tata was born on December 28, 1937, in Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India, is the present Chairman of Tata Sons and therefore, Tata Group, India’s largest conglomerate founded by Jamsedji Tata and consolidated and expanded by later generations of his family. He is also the chairman of major Tata companies such as Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Power, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Tea, Tata Chemicals, The Indian Hotels Company and Tata Teleservices.
Ratan Tata was adopted to famous Tata family, a prominent family belonging to the Parsi community. Ratan is the grandson of Tata group founder Jamsedji Tata. His childhood was troubled, with his parents separating in the mid-1940s when he was merely seven and his younger brother Jimmy was five years old. Their mother moved out and both Ratan and his brother were raised by their grandmother Lady Navajbai.
Ratan Tata completed his B.S. in architecture with structural engineering from Cornell University in 1962, and the Advanced Management Program from Harvard Business School in 1975. He is a part of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. He joined the Tata Group in December 1962, after turning down a job with IBM on the advice of JRD Tata. He was first sent to Jamshedpur to work at Tata Steel. He worked on the factory floor along with other blue-collar employees, shoveling limestone and handling the blast furnaces. Ratan Tata, a shy man, rarely features in the society glossies, has lived for years in a book-crammed, dog-filled bachelor flat in Mumbai’s Colaba district and is considered to be a gentleman extraordinaire. His simplicity and generosity have been the most important parameters of his life.
Mr. Ratan Tata has a metallic blue Maserati and Ferrari California. He sometimes likes to pilot his private Falcon Jet himself. He has never been married. He is a dynamic and vibrant businessman and is considered as one of the best managers never compromising on ethics and customer care.
He likes to wear Hermès ties and matching handkerchiefs.
His share in the whole group is 1%, or a little less, valuing his personal holding at approximately US $1 Billion, if encashed. 66% of the equity capital of Tata Sons is held by philanthropic trusts endowed by members of the original Jameshedji family and the largest share is with Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry (18.5%). The biggest two of the owning trusts are the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Sir Ratan Tata Trust (different Ratan Tata), which were created by the families of the sons of Jamshedji Tata. Ratan Tata is on the board of trustees of the Sir Ratan Tata Trust, and is the chairman of the board of trustees of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. Ratan Tata is also best known as the face behind changing India’s automotive industry into global climate change era.
Ratan Tata serves in senior capacities in various organisations in India and he is a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry. Tata is on the board of governors of the East-West Center, the advisory board of RAND’s Center for Asia Pacific Policy and serves on the program board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s India AIDS initiative.
Ratan Tata’s foreign affiliations include membership of the international advisory boards of the Mitsubishi Corporation, the American International Group, JP Morgan Chase and Booz Allen Hamilton. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the RAND Corporation, University of Southern California and of his alma mater, Cornell University. He also serves as a board member on the Republic of South Africa’s International Investment Council and is a member of the Asia-Pacific advisory committee for the New York Stock Exchange.