India’s Henry Ford??

Ford Model T was launched on October 1, 1908. It caused a revolution in the world. Henry Ford the father of automobile industry made history. He not only invented automobile but successfully founded and managed a automobile Giant FORD.

The ford motor is selling its premier brands Jaguar and Landrover and our own Mr. Ratan Tata is poised to buy them. But thats not the reason why I call him Henry Ford of India. The 70 year old chairman of Tata group which is a conglomerate having not just presence but very significant presence in industries that vary from Steel to Software and from Salt to Finance.

Year 2007 was perhaps one of the best for the 139 year old group that has a huge significance in the development of India. Not only Tata is one of the most trusted brands in India but it got global recognition when it was rated third in world by Britain’s One World Trust for Worlds Most accountable and Transparent Business. It was only after GE and GlaxoSmithKline. Tata lost their position as the largest business group in India to Reliance in 2006 but they gained it back with a significant margin when they acquired Corus a steel giant. Now its a $40 billion business much ahead of its rivals.
Tata could have walked the path most traveled by other business houses in India. But Ratan Naval Tata gave more importance to transparency and integrity. He was quoted saying “I am the kind of person who will not change his mind even if you keep a gun on his head”.

Tata motors a very small company compared to something line Nissan has something pride about. Its when Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said “If Tatas can do it, so we can” praising Ratan Tata and his Rs. 1 Lakh car. Tata has become the first company to launch the cheapest car in the world and also it has made all others follow it’s footsteps. There were no less skeptics about the car but then every trend needs a talisman or torchbearer. Nano has served that very important cause. Things might drastically change for the segment it defines tomorrow but in the books of history the first page will belong only to Nano.

When J.R.D. Tata chose Mr. Ratan Tata as his successor everyone raised their eye brow. Everyone had thought that Dorabji Tata or Nowroji Saklatwala would succeed him. But J.R.D. had probably identified talent and qualities of young Ratan who successfully managed this giant.

Only one thing apparently went wrong for Mr. Tata in 2007. His offer to have an alliance with Orient Express for The Indian Hotels company was denied in what can be termed as very offensive language.

But if Tata Nano becomes a Hit Tata can well go into the league of Henry Ford and Graham Bell.

NOTE: There are rumors that Mr. Tata will retire after Nano is launched. Who will be his successor is the first questions that will come to our minds. He has no plans to select that person by a lottery so it cant be you and me. I have a question, What will he do after retirement? The New York Times says that he is going to pursue is original profession. He is going to start a Architecture Firm. He is an architect by education.

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