The Tata Group is one of India's oldest, largest and most respected business conglomerates. The group's businesses are spread over seven business sectors: communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals. It comprises 98 companies and operates in six continents. It employs some 2,89,500 people and collectively has a shareholder base of more than 2.9 million.
Heading the Tata Group since 1991, Ratan N Tata is the chairman of Tata Sons, holding company of the Tata Group, and major group companies including, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services, Tara Power, Tata Tea, rata Chemicals, Indian Hotels, Tata Teleservices and Tata AutoComp. He is also chairman of two of the largest private sector promoted philanthropic trusts in India.
Mr Tata joined the Tata Group in December 1962. After serving in various companies, he was appointed the director-in-charge of The National Radio & Electronics Company Limited in 1971. In 1981, he was named chairman of Tata Industries, the group's other holding company, where he was responsible for transforming it into the group's strategy think-tank and a promoter of new ventures in high-technology businesses.
He is associated with various organisations in India and abroad in varying capacities, some of which are:
--Chairman, government of India's Investment Commission
--Member, Prime Minister's Council on Trade and Industry
--Member, National Hydrogen Energy Board
Manufacturing Competitiveness Council
--Serving on the International Investment Council set up by the president of the Republic of South Africa
The government of India honoured Mr Tara with one of its highest civilian awards, the Padma Bhushan, on Republic Day, January 26, 2000.
"Ratan Tata's face is immediately recognizable in Mumbai and in every corner of urban India," ReviewAsia reported.
"Tata, who turned 70 in December, is the chairman of the Tata Group, one of India's oldest and most venerated family conglomerates with annual revenues of nearly US$50 billion and profits of US$4 billion."
The magazine reported that the Tata's revenue was "rising rapidly" under Ratan's stewardship.
"Significantly, Ratan's achievement is twofold," the magazine said. The unveleiling of the Nano--the US$2,500 'people's car'--in January ... was preceded by a spate of acquisitions abroad since 2000 that turned the group into a global player.