Ratan Tata Updates

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Ratan Tata
LONDON: The Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday conferred the rank of Knight Commander (KBE) on former chairman of the Tata group Ratan Tata.The KBE is one of the highest honours given by the queen to civilians.

It commonly appears on the Diplomatic Service and Overseas list but can also be given to Britons based abroad or in an honorary capacity to foreign nationals.

On Thursday, it was announced that “the queen has been graciously pleased to approve the following honorary British awards in 2014”.

Ratan Tata was given the honour for his “services to UK/India relations, inward investment to the UK and philanthropy”.

Ratan Tata successfully guided one of India’s oldest business empires through rough seas.

Under the leadership of Ratan Tata, the group’s revenues grew to around Rs 475,721 crore in 2011-12 from Rs 10,000 crore in 1991. He retired on December 2012, after a 50-year run at the helm. Cyrus Mistry took over as the new chairman.

The Tata group is highly popular in UK. Iconic British car brands Jaguar and Land Rover became part of the Tata group in 2008. The company employs over 16,000 people at its manufacturing facilities in the UK, including 3,500 engineers at its two product development centres.

Around 78% of Land Rovers are exported to 169 countries, while Jaguar exports 70% of its products to 63 countries around the world.

Tata Limited was established in London in 1907 to be Tata group’s representative in Europe

Tata companies have operations and a 60,000-strong workforce spread across Europe

Tata’s association with UK academia also dates back to the establishment of the Sir Ratan Tata Department at the London School of Economics.

Subsequently called the Department of Social Sciences, it was set up to research the causes of poverty. Its first lecturer, Clement Attlee, went on to become the British prime minister who gave India its independence and also set up the British National Health Service.

Tata has maintained close links with the London School of Economics through a research collaboration with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

In 1920, the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge moved to its current Trumpington Street site thanks to a donation from Sir Dorabji Tata, an alumnus of the institution.

Tata International Social Entrepreneurship Scheme (ISES) began in 2008 as a two-month social internship programme for international students from the University of California, Berkeley, USA, and the University of Cambridge, UK.

In 2010, the London School of Economics joined hands with Tata ISES to enable its students to be part of the programme. The students are selected for an eight-week summer internship at different Tata community initiatives in India.

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Indian companies have generally failed to take advantages of the technologies and opportunities offered by the China market, Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of the Tata Group, has said.

Mr. Tata, in an address to a high-powered gathering of Chinese politicians and business leaders, said he believed there was ‘great potential’ for Chinese companies to invest in infrastructure in India but projects “have not happened”.

The former Tata Sons Chairman was invited to speak at an annual event known as ‘China’s Davos’ in Boao, in the southern island province of Hainan. The Chinese government-backed Boao Forum has become Beijing’s most high-profile annual gathering, bringing together Chinese and international political and business elite.

Mr. Tata was, this week, honoured by becoming the only Indian to be inducted into the forum’s 15 member board.

In conversation with noted Chinese economist Zhang Weiying, Mr. Tata gave a frank assessment of India-China business cooperation.

“The potential of Indian companies in China to avail themselves of technologies and opportunities is quite high, and is not yet being taken advantage of,” he said, according to a transcript made available by the forum.

He also spoke glowingly of the record of Chinese companies in going global, drawing parallels with his own experience. He identified automobile company Chery and telecom giants Huawei and ZTE as three Chinese companies he was most impressed by.

“Companies should be allowed to have a life and a presence of their own and should not be allowed or compelled to lose their identity,” he said. “It’s happening today (now) that Chinese companies are acquiring foreign companies.

The foreign company is allowed to remain, and so that model is being followed.”

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