“Humata Hukhta Hvarshta: Good thoughts, good words, good deeds”
(Motto of TATA business empire)
When I think about corporate brands of today, the words that automatically come to my mind are money, power and fame, but when I think about his one particular Indian brand which is very dear to my heart – Tata, I melt. I think of all those times when the Tatas were in the news, for all the right reasons, the most recent being the COVID-19 donations of Rs. 500 crores and promising to protect and empower all the people working in the frontlines.
I’ve always been a huge fan of the perception Tata has created in the minds and hearts of people. The man, Mr. Ratan Naval Tata has worked diligently and has passionately contributed towards the greater heights of the Tata industries. He has indeed shown us that you can be rich, powerful and humble at the same time!
Trust has always been synonymous with the Tatas and primarily the reason because of which people revered this brand and its ideology, resulting into a great market share. The Tata group has gained people’s trust by maintaining consistency throughout their performing years. I remember this incident very clearly and I’d like to share it with you, simply to show what the word ‘Tata’ meant for people, not just here in India, but also worldwide.
They say, in 1946, soon after World War II had ended, the KraussMaffei board met J.R.D. Tata (chairman of the Tata group) and Sumant Moolgaokar (CEO of the fledgling Telco) on the platform of Munich station. India was under British rule, and German and Indian companies could not make any legal agreements among themselves. The Germans requested Tatas to take their best technicians and their families to India, who were starving without work in Germany.
“They will teach you all they know; please take care of them. That is all we can ask”, they said, and thus Tatas learnt metal-working from the best of the best.
Many years later, when India had gained independence from the British, a letter arrived at their headquarters from Tatas. It stated:
“Now that we can, how much shall we pay you for the technology you have provided us”, it asked. That letter is a legendary example of what trust means. You honour your debt, even when it is not legally binding, and even when it is not demanded of you.
Trust is not built through legal contracts between parties. It is built by doing the right thing by others always.
Tatas have always been in the front for new discovery and research. Ratan Tata has backed research on the effects of cannabis, to study its medicinal properties so that it can be used in certain treatments.
Talking about backing people, Ratan Tata has always been with the masses no matter what. During 26/11, he had himself visited homes of 80 employees that were affected and traumatised by this attack. He gave full compensation to every employee along with the complete responsibility of the education of their children, full medical facility for their entire family and dependents for the rest of their lives. They were also provided with waiver of all the loans and advances irrespective of amount; and counsellor for life for each person.
The Tatas have always been a people-centric brand irrespective of any differences and it is their commendable leadership skills along with finest of values that I hugely admire. For all the future entrepreneurs out there, if you want to take cues of becoming a better leader, Ratan Naval Tata is your man!
Wishing you all the success!
Jackson A. Robin