Ratan Tata to retire tomorrow, Cyrus Mistry to succeed him
Even as Tata was concentrating on activities abroad, he came up with the idea of producing the world's cheapest car when he conceived the 'Rs one lakh' small car Nano. The Tata group underwent moments of high tension in executing the Nano project when it got into problems on acquisition of land in Singur in West Bengal.
Ironically, the group had to shift the project from Singur, where he was invited by Marxist Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, to Sanand in Gujarat at the invitation of Narendra Modi.
Although Nano could not live up to the expectations after its initial worldwide acclaim, the small car will still be remembered as Tata's desire to provide a "safer" option to many Indian lower-middle class families riding two-wheelers.
In a recent interview to PTI, he said Singur was a "great disappointment" for him because he went there "in a leap of faith" thinking that part of the country was being ignored industrially. Tatas will still go to West Bengal someday, he said.
Under Tata, the group also made great strides when it capitalised on the sunrise industry of information technology in the 90's. With revenues of over USD 10 billion in 2011-12, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is today India's largest IT company.
For TCS to lead the pack of entirely new IT ventures in the country is significant, given the background of Tatas, a leading member of what is derisively called the 'Bombay Club'.
For all his achievements, Tata describes