How BIG is TATA? (They Own Jaguar and Land Rover)
TATA is an Indian multinational conglomerate company that is headquartered in Mumbai, India. TATA owns Jaguar and Land Rover. Tata has interests in diverse business sectors including steel, power, energy, IT, automobiles, information technology services, and communications.
Today, Tata now owns companies such as Jaguar and Land Rover but this is really the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the breadth of their industry activities. So, how did Tata become the multinational giant that it is today and just how big is it!
In this article we’ll find out, for those of you, that is from Western nations and are probably unaware of this company, this article may widen your perspectives a little, Let’s begin.
As far as modern-day companies go, Tata is a very old company older than the automobile, powered flights, and household electricity. The company was founded way back in 1868 by “Jamsetji (Jamshedji) Nusserwanji Tata”.
In retrospect after Tata’s success, some have held Jamshedji Tata as one of the founders of modern India. Born in 1839 Jamshedji Tata’s first professional role was working in his father’s banking firm outside of Mumbai India.
There were some key events in Jamshedji Tata’s life that would shape the history of India and eventually help shape the global business landscape. It would be travel that opened his eyes Jamshedji Tata traveled to England, America, and Europe for business and through his opportunistic mind, he saw that Indian companies could make a large impact in the textile industry which was dominated by the British at the time.
In 1868 after learning from his time working in his father’s banking firm a 29-year-old Tata bought an old oil mill and converted it into a cotton mill. This seemingly insignificant event was the very beginning of the multinational giant.
Jamshedji Tata always had the inclination to care greatly for the people of India and had an interest in giving back. This is outlined by Jamshedji Tata’s four dream goals
The Four Dream Goals
During his life Tata strive for four simple goals within his heart they were:
1. To Create an Iron-Steel Company
2. A World-Class Education Institution
3. A Hotel and
4. A Hydroelectric Plant
It would only be the hotel that was to become a reality during Tata’s life. It was completed one year before Jamshedji Tata’s death in 1903.
In 1907, Tata Son Dorabji Tata would push to realize his dad’s dream of Tata Steel, Asia’s first and India’s largest steel company. In 1911, the third dream was completed in the form of the Indian Institute of Science, the preeminent Indian institution for research and education in science and engineering. The final piece of Jamshedji Tata’s original dream was realized in 1915, when Dorabji set up Tata hydroelectric power supply company, now currently India’s largest private electric company.
So, to do so many things in so little time may seem like immense innovation for the early 20th century but there’s a bigger picture to this. Tata as a company was thinking differently even when compared to global practice at the time. To give you an idea of how forward-thinking the title was for the time they started the 8-hour workday in 1912 and were one of the first companies in the world to implement the now standard practice. In 1917, the company introduced medical benefits for employees a very advanced business concept for the time. Since Jamshedji Tata found the company in 1868, the reigns have been handed down to multiple generations. The company’s DNA would ensure success in the future.
Today, Tata operates 100 companies in more than 100 countries and exports to 150 countries. So that’s all nice but how big is Tata exactly and what do they do?
Well in 2014, the company made $103.27 billion in revenue of which 67% came from business outside of India. The Tata companies employ more than 581,000 people worldwide. That’s more than Samsung Group by the way.
Tata is ranked 34th among the top 500 most valuable global brands according to brand finances global 500, 2014 report. So that gives you an idea of financial size but what do they do?
Let’s take a closer look at some of Tata’s companies:
We have got Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Consultancy Services, Chemicals, Global Beverages, Teleservices, Communications and Indian hotels, Tata Ceramics, Power, Tata Starbucks, Tata industry, Tata Sky, Landmark Book Stores, and the list goes on and just to top it off Tata actually owns the South Korean car manufacturer “Daewoo” but that isn’t all.
Tata has actually formed a habit of buying up British companies it’s rather ironic if you know the 19th and 20th-century relations between India and Britain. In 2000, they bought up the British company Tetley tea for $407 million, and then next there was Jaguar and Land Rover in 2008 after the GFC for $2.3 billion.
It’s quite an interesting story. In 1999, Ratan Tata and his team were humiliated when they went to sell Tata’s motor division to Ford, due to a poor response after a launch of a hatchback which happened to be Tata’s first passenger car. The American Ford officials showed interest and taking over the company but did say in a harsh manner. They told Tata you did not know anything why did you start a passenger car division at all? They said they’ll do Tata a favor by buying the car division but as it turns out the deal didn’t end up going through between Tata and Ford. At the time ford Owns Jaguar and Land Rover and couldn’t really work out how to get the cars to sell.
By 2008, things had gotten so bad that Ford had to sell Jaguar and Land Rover to the very company they had said a few years earlier were useless. Today Tata has turned Jaguar and Land Rover around and deals are doing great in the US.
Okay, so far in terms of size Tata may sound like a few other multinational conglomerates, but the surprising difference here is that Tata is actually very successful in many of its fields. For example, Tata Communications is the world’s Largest wholesale voice carrier and Tata Motors is among the top 5 commercial vehicle manufacturers in the world. Their steel division is among the top 10 best steelmakers, and the communication services division is among the top 10 global IT service companies. The global beverages division is the second-largest tea company in the world, and their chemical division is the world’s second-largest manufacturer of soda ash which is used for the manufacturing of glass.
Another aspect that makes Tata different and one of the reasons why I’ve grown to appreciate them at least as a company is their nature. Tata carries on its founders caring attitude and as a result, they have a sort of self-imposed moral obligation. What do I mean by this?
The company has actually made it a habit to return some of its wealth to society mainly by providing investments back into the local economy. This is not only true within India but in many countries around the globe. Tata is also very active in philanthropy through its trusts the company gives back in areas of medical research, technology, science, education, social welfare, and health care. One example is the “Tata Swach” a compact in-home purification device that cost less than $21. The idea of the Tata Swach came to being from the 2004 tsunami which left thousands of people without clean drinking water. The device has filters that last about one year for a family of five. The advantage of this device is that it does not require any electricity and is very low cost. Due to activities like this in 2009, the Tata Group was ranked number 11 in the world’s top 100 reputable companies by Forbes magazine.
So, there you have it a true multinational conglomerate with a bit of difference. All in all, it’s amazing that just one man could leave a legacy that has lasted over a century. Let’s finish off with a quote from Jamshedji Tata himself
“In a free enterprise, the community is not just another stakeholder in the business but in fact the very existence of it”.
What he said rings as evident today, as it did more than 100 years ago. Companies really need to listen to their communities and users. And one last cool fact Jamshedji Tata has even founded a city in India that now has over 1.3 million people called Jamshedpur.
If you’ve read this article up to this point. I kindly request that you let me know in the comments, what do you think about Tata?
Thank you for spending some time with me.
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