Ratan Tata was born on December 28, 1937 in Mumbai. When he was a child his parents separated and he was brought up by his grandmother Lady Navajbai. He went to Campion School in Bombay, Bishop Cotton School in Shimla and finished his schooling from Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai. He graduated with a degree in Architecture and Structural Engineering from Cornell University in 1962 and also did the Advanced Management Program from Harvard Business School in 1975. He is also a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity of Yale University, United States.
In 1962, Ratan Tata began his career in the Tata group. At first he used to work on the shop floor of Tata Steel, shoveling limestone and handling blast furnace. In 1991, JRD Tata stepped down as the chairman of Tata Industries and named Ratan Tata as his successor. Under Ratanís stewardship, Tata Tea attained Tetley, Tata motors attained Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Steel attained Corus. These triumphs turned Tata from a large India-centric company into a global business with 65% revenues from abroad. He also contributed in the development of Indica and Nano.
Ratan Tata has also served in various organizations in India and abroad. He is a member of the Prime Minister's Council on Trade and Industry and he is also on the board of governors of the East-West Center, which is the advisory board of RAND's Center for Asia Pacific Policy. He also serves on the program board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's India AIDS initiative.
He was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in January 2000. He serves on the boards of several leading organizations, both in the public as well as the private sector in India. He is a member of the International Investment Council set up by the President of South Africa and serves on the programme board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's India AIDS initiative. Ratan Tata is credited for leading Tatas' successful bid for Corus, an Anglo-Dutch steel and aluminum producer, which was acquired for an estimated £6.7 billion by Tata Sons.
On 28th December 2012, Ratan Tata retired from the Tata group. It also happened to be his 75th birthday. Ratan Tata is succeeded by Cyrus Mistry, the son of Pallonji Mistry and the managing director of Shapoorji Pallonji Group.
Awards and Achievements
- 2004 - Honorary Degree of Doctor of Technology by Asian Institute of Technology
- 2005 - Honorary Doctor of Science by University of Warwick
- 2006 - FIRST Magazine Award for Responsible Capitalism
- 2006 - Awarded the 26th Robert S. Hatfield Fellow in Economic Education by Cornell University
- 2007 - Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
- 2008 - Honorary Doctor of Science by Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
- 2008 - Honorary Doctor of Law by University of Cambridge
- 2008 - Recipient of the 'Global Indian Award' at the NASSCOM Global Leadership Awards
- 2009 - Ratan Tata was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
- 2010 - Business Leader of the Year by The Asian Awards
- 2010 - Honorary Doctor of Laws by Pepperdine University
- 2010 - Legend in Leadership Award by Yale University
- 2012 - Honorary Degree by The University of New South Wales