Ratan Tata: Career, Net Worth, and More

NameRatan Naval Tata
Date of Birth28 December 1937
ProfessionIndustrialist, Philanthropist
Net WorthRs. 8250 Crore ($1 billion) approx
Age85 years old
Height1.77 M (5′ 10”)
Weight86 kg
BirthplaceBombay
NationalityIndian

Who is Ratan Tata?

Ratan Naval Tata, an Indian industrialist and philanthropist, was born on December 28, 1937. He used to be the chairman of Tata Sons, leading the Tata Group from 1990 to 2012. He also served as the interim chairman from October 2016 to February 2017. Currently, he still heads its charitable trusts.

In recognition of his contributions, he was honored with the Padma Vibhushan in 2008, the second-highest civilian award in India. Prior to that, he received the Padma Bhushan in 2000, the third-highest civilian award.

Ratan Naval Tata is the son of Naval Tata, who was adopted by Ratanji Tata, the son of Jamsetji Tata, the founder of the Tata Group. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Cornell University College of Architecture.

He joined Tata in 1961 and began his career on the shop floor of Tata Steel. After the retirement of J. R. D. Tata, he took over as chairman of Tata Sons in 1991. During his leadership, the Tata Group made significant acquisitions, including Tetley, Jaguar Land Rover, and Corus, with the aim of expanding the company globally. Additionally, Tata is renowned for his philanthropic efforts, as he has donated approximately 60-65% of his income to various charitable causes, making him one of the largest philanthropists in the world.

Early Life

When his parents separated, Tata had a difficult childhood. But his grandmother, Lady Navajbai, raised him in luxury at Tata Palace.

Tata was fascinated by America. He pursued studies in architecture and structural engineering at Cornell University. Later, he furthered his education by taking a management course at Harvard University.

Career History

JRD Tata chose Ratan Tata as his successor when he stepped down as the chairperson of Tata Sons in 1991. Despite resistance, Ratan Tata implemented retirement age policies and made companies report to the group office. He streamlined Tata Sons and achieved significant growth during his 21-year tenure. Revenues grew over 40 times and profits grew over 50 times. Under his leadership, Tata Tea acquired Tetley, Tata Motors acquired Jaguar Land Rover, and Tata Steel acquired Corus, making the company global. Ratan Tata also created the affordable Tata Nano car for the average Indian consumer.

Tata serves on the boards of Fiat SpA and Alcoa. He is also part of the international advisory boards of Mitsubishi Corporation, the American International Group, JP Morgan Chase, Rolls Royce, Temasek Holdings, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

In 2000, the government of India honored him with the Padma Bhushan. Additionally, he received honorary doctorates in business administration from Ohio State University, technology from the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, and science from the University of Warwick.

On his 75th birthday, Ratan Tata stepped down as the Chairperson of Tata Sons on December 28, 2012. , Cyrus Mistry succeeded him but was later removed. Ratan Tata then became the group’s interim chairman.

To find a permanent successor, a selection committee was formed with Ratan Tata and others. Natarajan Chandrasekaran was appointed as the Chairperson of Tata Sons on January 12, 2017.

Ratan Tata invested in ventures like Snapdeal, Teabox, CashKaro.com, Ola Cabs, Xiaomi, Nestaway, and Dogspot.

Catalysts of Change: The Philanthropic Journey of the Tata Group

  • Enhancing Water Supply in Challenging Areas:

Ratan Tata’s dedication to addressing critical challenges is exemplified by his support for the University of New South Wales Faculty of Engineering. Through generous funding, Tata has played a vital role in improving water supply in challenging areas. His efforts aim to ensure access to clean and safe water for communities that face significant water scarcity issues.

  • Empowering Indian Undergraduates through Scholarships:

Recognizing the transformative power of education, the Tata Education and Development Trust established a substantial $28 million Tata Scholarship Fund at Cornell University. This initiative empowers Indian undergraduate students by providing them with financial aid opportunities. With an annual scholarship supporting approximately 20 students, Ratan Tata’s vision enables talented individuals to pursue their academic aspirations and unlock their full potential.

  • Promoting Executive Education at Harvard Business School:

Ratan Tata’s commitment to fostering leadership and business acumen is demonstrated by Tata Group and Tata Charities’ generous contribution of $50 million to Harvard Business School (HBS). This substantial donation facilitated the construction of an executive center at HBS, creating a hub for knowledge exchange, innovation, and collaborative learning among business leaders.

  • Advancing Cutting-Edge Research at Carnegie Mellon University:

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), under Ratan Tata’s guidance, donated a remarkable $35 million to Carnegie Mellon University. This substantial contribution paved the way for the establishment of a state-of-the-art research facility dedicated to exploring cognitive systems and autonomous vehicles. Known as TCS Hall, this 48,000-square-foot building serves as a hub for groundbreaking research and technological advancements.

  • Transforming Technological Innovation in India:

Ratan Tata’s commitment to fostering innovation extends to his philanthropic endeavors within India. Tata Group donated a monumental sum of Rs. 950 million to the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. This generous donation led to the establishment of the Tata Center for Technology and Design (TCTD). The center serves as a catalyst for technological innovation, providing researchers and students with resources and support to tackle complex challenges.

  • Advancing Alzheimer’s Research at the Indian Institute of Science:

Through Tata Trusts, Ratan Tata extended a grant of ₹750 million to the Centre for Neuroscience at the Indian Institute of Science. This significant contribution aims to study the mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease and develop early diagnosis methods and effective treatments. Tata’s support for critical research underscores his dedication to making a lasting impact on healthcare and improving lives.

  • Fostering Innovation and Sustainability at MIT:

Ratan Tata’s commitment to addressing challenges faced by resource-constrained communities is exemplified by the establishment of the MIT Tata Center of Technology and Design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This visionary initiative aims to tackle pressing global issues, initially focusing on India. Through research and innovation, the center endeavors to create sustainable solutions that uplift communities and drive positive change.

Net Worth

Mr. Ratan Tata’s wealth comes from diverse sources and is quite substantial. He is estimated to have a net worth of 1 billion U.S. dollars, which is approximately 8250 Crore Indian Rupees. Although TATA Sons, the main holding company of the 96 other TATA Group Companies, is owned 65% by charitable organizations, Ratan Tata is not listed as a member of the Billionaire Club. This is because the ownership of Tata Sons Limited is reflected in the financial statements of the charitable organizations, not Ratan Tata’s personal finances