Ratan Tata’s regret: I didn’t practice this profession despite earning Cornell University degree

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July 10, 2021 10:25 AM

Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, would have been in a different profession today, if he were not heading the Tata Group.

Ratan Tata, Tata groupRatan Tata regrets that he was not able to practice architecture for long, despite earning a degree from Cornell University. Image: Reuters

Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, would have been in a different profession today, if he were not heading the Tata Group. Tata regrets that he was not able to practice architecture for long, despite earning a degree from Cornell University in 1959. In a video interview, the industrialist and philanthropist said that he always wanted to be an architect, as it interested and motivated him. His father wanted him to be an engineer, and after spending two years in an engineering school, Ratan Tata realised that his interest lies in architecture. “I never regretted being an architect. I only regret that I was not able to practice it for long,” he said.

He said that even as he spent the rest of his life outside architecture, he gained directly from the sense of humanism which this profession renders. “Barring those two years after graduation from Cornell, I worked in an architect’s office in Los Angeles,” he said.

‘One can’t do a business as an architect’ an unfair statement

The 83-year-old said that skills such as ability to put things together are taught in an architectural curriculum. “The sensitivity that you create as an architect, the ability to put things together, the ability to run a project on the basis of a budget, the intricacies of different materials coming together, all those things are well taught in an architectural curriculum,” Tata said. He also quipped saying that if someone says one wouldn’t be equipped to do business as an architect then it would really not be a a fair statement.

Last year, Ratan Tata put the Q&A story on Instagram and answered a few questions. In one of the answers, he reiterated that he would have probably been trying to be a successful architect, if he wasn’t heading Tata group. In another question, Tata was asked about what he would like to be remembered for, to which Tata replied “For making a difference perhaps”. While, when asked about his dream project, Tata replied a project where he could attack malnutrition in infants across India.

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