Future of Indian Management – Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Group

Ratan N Tata is the Chairman of Tata Group

On an evening like this one tends to be overwhelmed when you, if you might rendered a bit naked in terms of your past and even more embarrassing when what one has to say is nice and flowery so as I set listening to this my mind went back to the late eighties where we had all come to believe that JRD Tata who I love and adore like a father was immortal, one didn’t think what the Tata group would be without him and then one day all of that changed and he called me & told that he would like to step down. He was 90 years old and I would take over. I had the same sense of being lost when I was 17 years old and started flying. 


The day instructor climbed out and said ” ok you are good enough to fly solo” “No maybe I’m not ready” and I had the same feeling the day I did that and when the shock of that subsided a bit, the next problem was how could I be stepping into his shoes, how do I clone myself to be JRD Tata and I very fast came to the conclusion that I couldn’t be and I shouldn’t perhaps be my own self and do whatever I could think of doing in my own terms.

At that time I would say I was very lucky because three things happened which set me on a path that I pursued. One was the Integrity and Value system that JRD had run company on which I was convinced we should continue on and perpetuate. The second was, the country just about to opening the economy, very fortunately at the same time that I took over and I was able to converge the view I had on what Tatas could do; unshackled from the license constraints and the same time venture in a new era of younger managers and newer technology to put so. The third piece of luck I had was the support and capability of the people at the Tata group, without which it wouldn’t have been possible.

It’s been an exciting time, very rewarding. As I stand here today I am very proud to be a Indian, at a time when India has emerged from being a developing country to becoming a power house in this part of the world and that’s a tribute to all the managers and the management CEOs and visionaries in this room and outside this room who have made India what it is today.

I hope India will continue to grow and prosper and make a name for itself. I hope India does not destroy itself in self-criticism. I see a great future for India. The future for Indian management that has made India grow and prosper and become an international entity is profound in terms of what one sees.

Ratan N Tata is the Chairman of Tata Sons. This is an excerpt from his key note acceptance address at AIMA Life Time Achievement Award for Management at a special award ceremony in New Delhi on 23rd March 2011.

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15 thoughts on “Future of Indian Management – Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Group

  1. The point is that Indian companies aren’t just innovating manufacturing methods,technologies, and product design.

  2. The management concept in the west developed as a result of evolutionary process, based on the changing values systems of the people – the social, political, and economic environment as well as educational and cultural milieu. However, in India, historically we never evolved our own concepts, keeping the Indian scenario in view. We found it convenient to transfer management technology, trust as scientific technology. As a result of these grafting process of management, we have created more confusion in management thinking.

  3. The management concept in the west developed as a result of evolutionary process, based on the changing values systems of the people – the social, political, and economic environment as well as educational and cultural milieu.

  4. Management in India is an amalgam of practices borrowed from the West-and more recently from Japan-overlaid with age-old Indian values and norms that the still extant.

  5. Our Research finding in Indian Management indicate that many of the Management practices suggested by Foreign specially the Western consultants when implemented in Indian Organizations, get rejected by the environment resulting in contradiction within the Indian context between stated policies and actual practices termed as “Dualism” in Indian Management. Many of these practices remain on paper without proper implementation. Therefore, it becomes imperative to evolve our own concepts of Management, which are in tune with Indian environment and value systems. Based on extensive research we have evolved such concepts and Management practices which are acceptable in Indian context.

  6. Suddenly due to success of the Japanese methods of management, even the western countries have started doubting their own concepts and are trying to emulate the Japanese lessons. This has further confused the Indian managers as well as the management experts, who all along were following as a gospel truth whatever the westerners had developed.

  7. The reinvention may well be led by India, where explosive growth in demand for management training has opened the door to massive growth and innovation in the business school sector.

  8. The innovation, energy, and desire to serve the market shown by private-sector Indian enterprises is truly breathtaking.

  9. Distributed, online, distance, hybrid learning—whatever term you choose—India has the opportunity to use technology to reach massive numbers of people over incredible distances and to bring together new ideas, cultures, and thought-leaders like never before.

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