Book explores Tata Group’s journey

The values at the heart of the Tata Group as well as the role played in its development by the philanthropic trusts that own two-thirds of the company are explored in a new book that is a brief history of the Tatas.

How did Tata transform itself from a family-owned venture to the position it istoday in an array of unrelated businesses? What is the ‘Tata Way’, which has earned it much admiration and respect?

These are among several aspects that the book “The Greatest Company in the World?: The Story of Tata” by Peter Casey looks into.

Today, the Tata Group employs nearly half a million people, and earns revenues of $100 billion. It reported a profit of $6.23 billion in 2011-12, and controls assets valued at $77.7 billion.

“The philanthropic trusts control a majority of the Tata holding company, Tata Sons. The Tata family is a very small shareholder. Yet, the owners are only one of four stakeholders Tata sets out to serve. In addition to the owners (which include shareholders) are employees, customers, and society itself,” the book, published by Penguin, says.

The members of the Tata family have established a set of philanthropic trusts to which the majority of the family’s personal wealth has been dedicated and bequeathed.
Like their father, Dorabji Tata and Ratan Tata also donated the majority of their personal wealth to trusts they established.
The book also talks about Jamsetji Tata’s successor Dorabji Tata’s passion for sports and how he advocated India’s participation in the Olympics as early as 1919, much before the nation had established its own Olympic committee.

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