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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Introduction Contd...

The Nano was not the only reason why Ratan Tata was in the news. He was also instrumental in Tata Motors acquiring Jaguar and Land Rover7, from Ford. And under his leadership, Tata Steel acquired the Anglo-Dutch steel maker Corus8 in 2007.

The Corus deal, valued at $ 12 billion, was reported to be the largest takeover of a foreign company by an Indian company.9

Ratan Tata took over the reins of the Tata Group from JRD Tata in 1991 (Refer Exhibit II for information on JRD Tata and Exhibit III for the Pioneers of the Tata Group).

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It was around this time that the Indian government had begun to initiate a series of reforms to open up the economy.

However, for the Tata Group companies, like for most other Indian companies, it was a testing time as economic liberalization also increased the threat of competition from multinational companies.10

Having operated in a protected environment for decades, the Tata Group companies were not globally competitive. Also, the Group lacked focus, being present in several unrelated businesses.

Ratan Tata was responsible for overseeing a transformation of the Tata Group to prepare the conglomerate to face the pressures of globalization...

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7] Jaguar was founded by William Lyons in Coventry, UK, in 1922. Land Rover, initially the name of a vehicle launched by the Rover Car Company in 1948, became a part of Leyland Motors Ltd. in 1967. As of early 2008, both Jaguar and Land Rover (together with Volvo) were part of the Premier Automotive Group, a company owned by Ford Motor Company.

8] Corus was formed in October 1999 through the merger of British Steel and Koninklijke Hoogovens. It manufactures, processes, and distributes metal products as well as provides design, technology, and consultancy services. Its plants are spread across the UK, Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, and France. (Source: www.corusgroup.com)

9] "Corus Accepts Takeover Bid by Tata,"www.rediff.com, October 20, 2006.

10] "Complementing for Complexity: Leading through Managing,"www.etmgr.com, January-March, 2005.

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