Ratan Tata: Leading the Tata Group into the 21st Century

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR284
Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 1991-2008
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Tata Group
Industry : Diversified
Countries : India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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The Early Days

Ratan Tata was born in Mumbai (then Bombay) on December 28, 1937, to Soonoo and Naval Hormusji Tata, both Gujarati -speaking Parsis . He was the grandson of Jamsetji Tata, founder of the Tata Group. Ratan Tata had a troubled childhood as his parents separated when he was only seven...

A Change Agent

When Ratan Tata took over as chairman, the Tata Group seemed on its way to disintegration, with powerful CEOs running some of the Group companies like their personal fiefdoms and challenging the core structure of the Group...

A Risk Taker

Ratan Tata was instrumental in changing the Tata Group's attitude toward risk. Earlier, the Group had been risk averse, and had had very few ambitious projects. By the mid-2000s, the Group companies had become more aggressive, with most of them entering new markets and developing new products...

Business Strategy | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Business Strategy, Case Studies

Value Driven

From the beginning, the management at Tata Group had sought to function with ethics, integrity, social consciousness, and fairness...

What Next?

Ratan Tata believed that the biggest challenge for the Group was finding the right talent and retaining the Group's value systems as it grew bigger and more diverse.

He believed that the Group had to expand the managerial perspective while retaining the same ethical and moral standards. That made his failure to designate a successor all the more disconcerting. Some criticized the move to extend his tenure as the chairman till 2012...


Exhibit I: The Business Sectors of Tata Group as of 2008
Exhibit II: About JRD Tata
Exhibit III: The Pioneers of Tata Group
Exhibit IV: Business Portfolio of Tata Group in 1962
Exhibit V: Product Portfolio Milestones at Tata Motors under Ratan Tata
Exhibit VI: Acquisition and Mergers at the Tata Group under Ratan Tata
Exhibit VII: Ratan Tata - The Man

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