Saturday, May 27, 2017

What made TATA Group India's Most Respected Brand?

Tata Namak. Ye Desh Ka Namak Hai”.  (Tata Salt. It is the salt of motherland.) – TATA Salt Advertisement

This is a famous idiom in Hindi – “I have eaten the salt of my motherland” (English literal translation which means, “I owe loyalty to my motherland”). If you go around anywhere in India, even in the remotest village with no electricity, it will be difficult for you not to come across any TATA product. At present, TATA group is a conglomerate of over 100 companies around the world and does business in a range of products and services spanning over a range of entities - as basic product as salt to as sophisticated technologically advanced service as telecommunication network. The Tata group was formed in 1868 when Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata, with an eye to compete with British, started a textile mill. He wanted to create economic self - reliance in the country and achieve world-wide respect for India. Often called as “father of Indian industry,” Sir JN Tata believed that “the community is not just another stakeholder in our business, but is in fact the very purpose of its existence” [1]

Today there is a city called as Jamshedpur in the honor of Jamshedji Tata in an eastern state of Democratic Republic of India. It has been close to 149 years ever since the introduction of the first business by the TATA group. The group has evolved itself strategically and expanded its business into a large set of domains. But there is one thing in TATA which has remained the same throughout the century. Their core values and purpose. It is said that for a firm to create impact on the market and to be successful in the longer run, the company must have clear core values and a unique purpose that sets them apart from the others. [2]. These core values must remain unchanged in spite of ever changing dimensions of the business. Tata has withstood the changes in the economy of India from the License Raj of the 1960s to the post -liberalization period after 1991 without compromising on its core values. This is the reason why it has been consistently called – India’s number 1 brand.  [3]

TATA group has been “driven by five core values”: Integrity, understanding, excellence, unity and responsibility. [4]. TATA group has lived to its purpose in the face of changing political, macro-economic, global and technological scenarios. In an interview with CNN when asked if TATA group has ever indulged in bribery and corruption, Ratan Tata, the grandson of Jamshedji Tata and the then chairman of the TATA group said,” No, we have succeeded in growing in the manner we have without in fact partaking in this. We have also been -- I would say that we could have grown faster and could have prospered more as a group. But we have never - we have never in fact partake in this kind of activity” [5].

Clearly, TATA group has created an example for the rest of the young Indian brands to follow, and it also exemplifies the importance of core values and purpose for any firm to be successful over the longer run. Business isn’t done just with a focus of earning revenue, but it is also done to serve people and a purpose.


2)      “Building your company’s Vision”, Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras, September-October 1996 Issue, Harvard Business Review, Harvard Publications. 

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