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Search on for Ratan Tata successor.

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Global search reportedly on to find successor for Ratan Tata

by Jonathon Ramsey (RSS feed) on Dec 1st, 2009 at 7:59AM


Three years ago the retirement age for Tata's holding company was upped to 75. Although Ratan Tata is only 71, there is no obvious successor to take his place at the head of India's global conglomerate, so the search has begun for the leader of the next act.

Whoever that person is will take the conductor's baton and guide an orchestra of 98 companies and 357,000 workers. He or she will also need to deal with the twin anchors of Jaguar-Land Rover debt and Corus Steel debt, both of which were brought on by economic freefall after top-of-the-market acquisitions.

At this point it looks like the CEO spot will be taken by someone outside the Tata family for only the second time in the history of the company. And while Ratan Tata has said "It would certainly be easier if [my successor] were an Indian national," he is open to filling the position with a foreigner. The company has three years to conclude, with Tata expected to step down in 2012.

[source: Times Online | Photo: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images]

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It is a difficult task to head/succeed Ratan/Tata. I cant think of anybody else who would do a car just for the sake of his people. Ratan did it for his fellow Indians. Who else would do it? He is just a role model to many Indians out there to return back something possible to their country from which they have taken so much..

Cheers to you Mr. Ratan Tata and Thanks for the Nano

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Tata cars may not appeal to all but the man himself is a genius when taken his all over contribution to the various industries his company is a part of and his contribution towards the development of this country.


RATAN TATA FOR PRESIDENT!!(I mean, Prime Minister but had to say president for the effectsmiley36.gif 
asethi9192009-12-01 18:09:17

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Whenever i read this news i feel sad as Ratan Tata will no more lead this company, i think he brought the company to its greatest heights be it steels, automotive, hotels, or consumer durables, he did it all. Tata Group saw much change after he took the lead especially the Indian Hotels group, Tata steels and Tata Motors. Tata Motors came this way in passenger vehicles is only due to his automotive passion, although their cars doesnt appeals to many but they solve their purpose very easily, Indica was built to have price like 800, and space like esteem and it did that and for Nano everyone knows the story. He did the task which was impossible for most of companies across the world. Tata motors is the 1st indian company to acquire international automobile brands, and he also did much for the commercial vehicles and a stake in Pinninfarina design company. I cant think of these without him leading the company, i wish he stays in the company as Non-executive director till his end. It requires great passion(and less greed) to do all these.


He always believed in Ethics and Principles in which only few industrialists believes nowadays.


Hats off and a Salute to you Mr. Tata, you are an inspiration to all other leaders and young India.


I think the successor who will take his place will have to lead whole Tata group and not only Tata Motors and Carlos ghosn is from automotive background so cant think of him leading whole Tata Group.

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More about Ratan Tata and the Tata DNA

Proud of the TATA DNA

Well worth reading:

Now compare with DNA of that  some other tycoons who are his contemporaries

October 10, 2009

Meeting with H N Srinivas - Senior Executive Vice President, Taj Group

of Hotels...Minuted by Dileep Ranjekar  Last evening, I had a dinner

meeting with HNS in Goa (I was there for a National Institute of

Personnel Management conference - as a speaker).

He narrated the 26th November 2008 terror attack on Taj Mumbai and there were some important points.

A.        Terrorist entry

1.         They entered from the Leopold Colaba hotel entrance and also

from the northern entrance - spraying indiscriminate bullets on the Taj

security personnel and guests in general.

2.         Though Taj had a reasonable security - they were surely not

equipped to deal with terrorists who were praying 6 bullets per trigger.

3.         The strategy of the terrorists was to throw chunks of RDX in

an open area that will explode and burn - creating chaos so that the

guests and staff run helter skelter so that the terrorists could kill

them. The idea was to create maximum casualties.

4.         There were several critical gatherings and functions

happening in the hotel on that day - a Bohra wedding, global meet of

Unilever CEOs and Board members and 2 other corporate meetings were

being held in the hotel - besides the usual crowd.

5.         The firing and chaos began at about 8.30 p.m. and the staff

including employees on casual and contract basis displayed exemplary

presence of mind, courage and sacrifice to protect the guests who were

in various halls and conference rooms. 

B.        Stories of Staff Heroics

1.         A young lady guest relation executive with the HLL gathering

stopped any of the members going out and volunteered 3 times to go out

and get stuff such as ice cubes for whiskey of the guests when the

situation outside the hall was very explosives and she could have been

easily the target of the bullets

2.         Thomas George a captain escorted 54 guests from a back door

staircase and when he was going down last he was shot by the terrorists

3.         There were 500 emails from various guests narrating heroics of the staff and thanking them for saving their lives

4.         In a subsequent function, Ratan Tata broke down in full

public view and sobbed saying - "the company belongs to these people".

The wife of Thomas George who laid his life saving others said, she and

the kids were proud of the man and that she did not know that for 25

years she lived with a man who was so courageous and brave

5.         The episode happened on 26th November, a significant part of

the hotel was burnt down and destroyed - the hotel was re-opened on

21st December and all the employees of the hotel were paraded in front

of the guests

6.         It was clearly a saga of extra-ordinary heroics by ordinary

people for their organisation and in a way for their country. The sense

of duty and service was unprecedented

7.         The young lady who protected and looked after the HLL guests

was a management trainee and we often speak of juniority and seniority

in the organisation. She had no instructions from any supervisor to do

what she dida.  She took just 3 minutes to rescue the entire team

through the kitchenb. Cars were organised outside the hotel as per

seniority of the membersc.         In the peak of the crisis, she

stepped out and got the right wine glass for the guest

8.         People who exhibited courage included janitors, waiters, directors, artisans and captains - all level of people 

C.        The Tata Gesture1.         All category of employees

including those who had completed even 1 day as casuals were treated on

duty during the time the hotel was closed

2.         Relief and assistance to all those who were injured and killed

3.         The relief and assistance was extended to all those who died

at the railway station, surroundings including the "Pav-Bhaji" vendor

and the pan shop owners

4.         During the time the hotel was closed, the salaries were sent my money order

5.         A psychiatric cell was established in collaboration with

Tata Institute of Social Sciences to counsel those who needed such help

6.         The thoughts and anxieties going on people's mind

was constantly tracked and where needed psychological help provided

7.         Employee outreach centers were opened where all help, food,

water, sanitation, first aid and counselling was provided. 1600

employees were covered by this facility

8.         Every employee was assigned to one mentor and it was that

person's responsibility to act as a "single window" clearance for any

help that the person required

9.         Ratan Tata personally visited the families of all the 80

employees who in some manner - either through injury or getting killed

- were affected.

10.       The dependents of the employees were flown from outside

Mumbai to Mumbai and taken care off in terms of ensuring mental

assurance and peace. They were all accommodated in Hotel President for

3 weeks

11.       Ratan Tata himself asked the families and dependents - as to what they wanted him to do.

12.       In a record time of 20 days, a new trust was created by the Tatas for the purpose of relief of employees.

13.       What is unique is that even the other people, the railway

employees, the police staff, the pedestrians who had nothing to do with

Tatas were covered by compensation. Each one of them was provided

subsistence allowance of Rs. 10K per month for all these people for 6


14.       A 4 year old granddaughter of a vendor got 4 bullets in her

and only one was removed in the Government hospital. She was taken to

Bombay hospital and several lacs were spent by the Tatas on her to

fully recover her

15.       New hand carts were provided to several vendors who lost their Carts

16.       Tata will take responsibility of life education of 46 children of the victims of the terror

17.       This was the most trying period in the life of the

organisation.Senior managers including Ratan Tata were visiting funeral

to funeral over the 3 days that were most horrible

18.       The settlement for every deceased member ranged from Rs. 36 to 85 lacs in addition to the following benefits:

a.         Full last salary for life for the family and

dependents.         Complete responsibility of education of children

and dependents - anywhere in the worldc.         Full Medical facility

for the whole family and dependents for rest of their lifed.        

All loans and advances were waived off - irrespective of the

amounte.         Counsellor for life for each person 

D.        Epilogue1.         How was such passion created among the employees? How and why did they behave the way they did?

2.         The organisation is clear that it is not something that

someone can take credit for. It is not some training and development

that created such behaviour. If someone suggests that - everyone laughs

3.         It has to do with the DNA of the organisation, with the way

Tata culture exists and above all with the situation that prevailed

that time. The organisation has always been telling that customers and

guests are #1 priority

4.         The hotel business was started by Jamshedji Tata when he was

insulted in one of the British hotels and not allowed to stay there.

5.         He created several institutions which later became icons of

progress, culture and modernity. IISc is one such institute. He was

told by the rulers that time that he can acquire land for IISc to the

extent he could fence the same. He could afford fencing only 400 acres.

6.         When the HR function hesitatingly made a very rich proposal to Ratan - he said - do you think we are doing enough?

7.         The whole approach was that the organisation would spend

several hundred crore in re-building the property - why not spend

equally on the employees who gave their life?

Let us emulate the TATA DNA.

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When JRD Tata was searching for his successor and zeroed on Ratan overlooking claims of many other seniors, doubts were raised about Ratan's capability to lead the group. But he has proved himself to more than a worthy successor to the legendary JRD, who himself took the reins of the company at a young age of 23.


The philosophy and DNA of Tata group is unique in the corporate jungle of India. There are many untold stories like the above narrated by anjan.


I think an Indian will be the best person to lead the group with the same business tradition.

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