Industrialist and philanthropist Ratan Naval Tata is one of India’s most influential business leaders. He is the Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons and Chairman of the Tata Trusts.
Born in 1937, he is the great grandson of Jamsetji Tata, the founder of Tata Group, and was raised by his grandmother, Lady Navajbai Tata. Ratan Tata says, he was inspired by her strong values, and he still seeks to instil the same in the young and inspiring leaders of today.
After completing his education from Cornell University, New York, he returned to India and joined the Tata Group in 1961. In 1991, he succeeded his uncle, JRD Tata, as the chairman of the Tata Group, and brought international recognition to the group. And since then, the legendary scion has been an inspiration for leaders across the world.
One of the earliest supporters of the Indian startup ecosystem, Ratan Tata started to invest in startups much before they had become mainstream. After his retirement from the salt-to-steel conglomerate in 2012, Ratan Tata started actively investing in startups, and till now has invested in over two dozen startups, including Paytm, Ola, Urban Ladder, Snapdeal, FirstCry, Zivame, CureFit, etc.
His investment in a company not only means funding, but it also gives the startup a boost and credibility in terms of publicity and brand building.
Known for “breaking the internet”, the 82-year-old doyen of Indian industry joined Instagram last year, and within a month had over 700K followers. He also posted a 16-page pitch deck PowerPoint presentation on Instagram for Indian entrepreneurs.
Ratan Tata, who has always eschewed the public eye for the most part of his life, saluted the spirit of entrepreneurs in India in these challenging times of coronavirus, and exhorted them to start with a clean sheet of paper.
Here are some powerful quotes of the revered figure from corporate India to encourage entrepreneurs in these tough times.
“Ups and downs in life are very important to keep us going, because a straight line even in an E.C.G means we are not alive.”
“I don’t believe in taking right decisions. I take decisions and then make them right.”
“If you want to walk fast, walk alone. But if you want to walk far, walk together.”
“None can destroy iron, but its own rust can. Likewise, none can destroy a person, but his own mindset can.”
“Take the stones people throw at you and use them to build a monument.”
“All of us do not have equal talent. Yet all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents.”
“Take the stone people throw at you and use them to build a monument.”
“Don’t be serious, enjoy life as it comes.”
“A person who is trying to copy others will be a successful person for a while, but he won’t be able to succeed further in life.”
“If there are challenges thrown across, then some interesting, innovative solutions are found. Without challenges, the tendency is to go on the same way.”
“If a founder has passion and innovation, he needs to be supported. I am more intuitive than a numbers person, and I recognise that not all investments are going to be positive. Some may fail, and some may have problems for other reasons. That is life.”
“A founder who is in for the short run or has no passion for the sector he is in, doesn’t give me a great deal of comfort.”
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