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10 Success lessons from Ratan Tata - “The Titan of Indian Business” for entrepreneurs

10 Success lessons from Ratan Tata - “The Titan of Indian Business” for entrepreneurs

If there is one name that stands out for trust and integrity, it’s Ratan Tata. Born on 28 December 1937 in Surat, Ratan Naval Tata was the chairman of Tata Group, the Mumbai-based conglomerate from 1991–2012.

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He has been awarded Padam Vibhushan and Padam Bhushan in the year 2008 & 2000 respectively for his contribution towards trade and industry. Known for his vision and ability to lead and innovate, he led the global foray of the largely India-based Tata Group. The 78 year old began his career with the Tata Group in 1961, and spearheaded the company from a $1.5 billion market cap to a $100 billion market cap. The legendary scion has been an inspiration for leaders across the world.

1. Be a visionary

When Ratan Tata joined the group, it was barely doing any business outside India. Even though many opposed him, he maintained that the company had to go global. Today half of Tata’s revenues come from overseas. Under his leadership Tata acquired brands like Tetley, Jaguar Land Rover, and Taj Boston.

2. Be humble

He is known for his humility, and there are countless examples. He started out working as a blue collar employee for Tata Steel. He personally visited the families of the 80 employees who were affected because of the 26/11 attacks. He remembers almost everyone by their first names, and is not dismissive.

3. Never give up on values

Values are something that define a company, both to its employees and its customers. Public Safety and welfare has always been one of the main core values of Tata. The Tata Group has always been known for upholding these values and when Ratan Tata took the reigns, he too reinstated these values into the company culture. As a result, Tata has become one of the most trusted brands the world over.


4. Take Risks

Taking risks is the cardinal rule of business. As a leader, one needs to have the foresight and the capability to take risks that can take the company to new heights. Coming from business family, Ratan Tata was no stranger to taking risks and once also said, “I don’t believe in making right decisions. I take decisions and then make them right.” From acquiring the Jaguar and Land Rover businesses from Ford to taking over Corus, the second-largest steel maker in Europe, Ratan Tata made significantly big moves and has managed to make things work in his favour.

5. Motivate others

Ratan Tata had the ability to inspire and motivate others which is very important for a leader. Being a great leader isn’t about checking all the right boxes but is about making sure you inspire, drive and spark your drive in others, so that they along with you, can bring about change, social innovation and progress.

6. Have faith In yourself

When you are dealing with life’s hodgepodge, every minute you take a decision. Some decisions are right while there are some decisions that may cause situations to take an unpredicted turn. At such junctures, before people lose faith in your decision making skills, you must have staunch belief in yourself and must confidently come forward to make the situation in your favour.

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7. Be open to criticism

As per a famous quote by Ratan Tata, ‘Take the stones people throw at you and use them to build a monument.’ Whenever you endeavour to do something you like, you won’t always receive appreciation. There will be people who will try to pull you down and criticize to shatter your spirit. All you need to do is just ignore all the criticisms and focus on your work.

8. Use creative tendencies

Be creative rather than being reactive. Being proactive and solving problems even before they come is one of the most important qualities of an entrepreneur. A person should not have a tendency to react only when the situation demands but the person should be able to be anticipate what will happen in future and be able to adjust himself to it in present. An entrepreneur who exercises such quality is always successful.

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9. Get out of the safe mode

To be successful in business you need to take risk. No risk no gain. Mr. Ratan Tata always believed in taking risk and the result is clear that the risk paid off. To be successful you need to take risk working in safe mode might make you feel comfortable but you will never be able to get best out of the system. He once said “I don’t believe in making right decisions. I take decisions and then make them right,”

10. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Mr. Ratan Tata believed in investing in different companies so as his investment is always safe. He acquired a stake in the growing Chinese giant Xiaomi and leading e-commerce site snapdeal. Investing in different companies ensures that your investment is safe and grows no what the situation of a particular industry is.

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Author Biography.


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