Tata Group

Tata Sons Ltd, incorporated in 1917, is the successor to the trading enterprise founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868 and is the promoter of a broad range of other Tata branded companies which together form one of India's largest and most respected business conglomerates, employing approximately 357,000 people and with revenues of US$70.8 billion (2008 to 2009). Tata companies include 27 listed companies with a combined market capitalization of approximately US$58.5 billion , as at 29 October, 2009. The Tata companies have been instrumental in setting up business ventures of national significance that have positively impacted the Indian industry and economy, and which have been considered as pioneering initiatives in their respective fields. Tata companies operate in more than 85 countries across 6 continents, and export products and services to 80 countries.

Tata companies have their origins in the trading business founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868 that was developed and expanded in furtherance of his ideals by his two sons, Sir Dorabji Tata and Sir Ratan N. Tata, following their father’s death in 1904. The family interests subsequently vested largely in the Sir Ratan Tata Trust, the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and related trusts. These trusts were established for philanthropic and charitable purposes and together own a substantial majority of the shares of Tata Sons, the principal holding company of the Tata companies.

Tata companies are highly diversified and their activities extend over many areas such as steel, engineering, electronics and communications equipment, telecommunications, automobiles, construction equipment, electricity generation and distribution, inorganic chemicals, refrigeration and air conditioning, hotels, tea and coffee, management consultancy and software services, watches, general retailing and financial services.

By 1970, the Tata companies had expanded from the trading company established in the nineteenth century to encompass a number of major industrial and commercial enterprises including The Indian Hotels Company Limited (1902), Tata Steel Limited (1907), The Tata Power Company Limited (1910), Tata Chemicals Limited (1939), Tata Motors Limited (1945), Voltas Limited (1954), and Tata Tea Limited (1962). The Tata companies also promoted India’s first airline, Tata Airlines, which later became Air India (India’s national carrier), as well as India’s largest general insurance company, New India Assurance Company Limited, both of which were subsequently taken over by the Government as part of the Government’s nationalization program. In recent times, the Tata companies have invested in several telecommunication ventures, including Tata Teleservices Limited and the acquisition of a portion of the Indian Government’s equity stake in Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited, (“VSNL”).

Many of the Tata companies are leaders in their respective business segments. Tata Motors Limited is the leading automotive vehicle manufacturing company in India in terms of revenues. Tata Steel, another flagship company, is Asia's first and India's largest private sector steel company. Tata Consultancy Services is a pioneer and leader in the Indian IT Services and business process outsourcing ("BPO") sectors. The Tata Tea companies today represent the world's second largest global branded tea operations with product and brand presence in 40 countries. Tata Power Limited is the largest power generating supplier in the private sector in India. Indian Hotels Company Limited runs the largest hotel chain in the country. Trent, a relatively new entrant, operates some of the nation's largest and fastest growing retail store chains and has established a widespread presence in the growing retail segment. VSNL is the largest international long distance communication carrier in India.

The Tata companies follow the ethics and integrity envisioned by their founder and his successors. These companies have endeavoured to maintain high standards of management efficiency in order to achieve success in their enterprises. The Tata companies also made a significant contribution towards national causes through the promotion of public institutions in the field of science, such as the Indian Institute of Science and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, and in the field of social services through the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, the Tata Memorial Hospital and the National Centre for the Performing Arts. The Tata trusts are among the largest charitable foundations in the country and are involved in the following activities:

  • Endowments for the creation of national institutions;

  • Development assistance, including for livelihood, health, education, micro-finance, bio-diversity and water harvesting;

  • Foreign education sponsorships in science and engineering; and

  • Disaster relief (in association with other Tata companies).

  • Annual expenditure by Tata companies (including associated trusts) in social welfare is approximately US$100 million.

Tata companies have been at the forefront of initiating best-in-class industry practices, which have had transforming social implications on the wider public. Some such early initiatives include:

  • Introduction of the concept of an 8 hour working day (1912);

  • Free medical aid to employees (1915);

  • Establishment of schooling facilities for the children of employees (1917); and

  • Introduction of leave with pay and provident fund scheme (1920).

  • Tata companies have a track record of exceptional commitment to social development, as is highlighted by:

  • Commitment to surrounding communities incorporated in the Articles of Association of major operating companies;

  • Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) expenditure being budgeted before the preparation of the Profit and Loss accounts of the companies;

  • A ground breaking project initiated, developed and conducted by TCS in using computers to help illiterates learn to read; and

  • Total contribution to social welfare in the financial year 2006 in excess of US$85 million.

Global footprint

Since the year 2000, Tata companies have increasingly undertaken prominent initiatives globally. Inspired by a clear vision to be within the top 10 globally and/or within the top 3 domestically across its operating sectors, Tata companies have undertaken the following initiatives:

  • Largest outbound cross border acquisition by an Indian company when Tata Steel acquired Corus Group Plc. for US$12 billion, making it the world’s fifth largest steel producer. Prior to acquiring Corus, Tata Steel had also acquired Natsteel and Millennium Steel;

  • Tata Consultancy Services Limited (“TCS”), Asia’s largest and India’s first IT services company, which is globally ranked 11th in terms of revenues;

  • World’s second largest global branded tea operation and acquisition of Tetley in 2000 for £271 million;

  • Asia’s first and India’s largest private sector steel company, Tata Steel Limited was ranked the world’s best steel maker for the third time in February 2006 by World Steel Dynamics;

  • A global leader in the automobile industry, Tata Motors Limited has become the world’s 5th largest medium and heavy commercial vehicle manufacturer and 2nd largest medium and heavy bus manufacturer;
  • Tata Motors became the first company from India’s engineering sector to be listed in the New York Stock Exchange in 2004; and

  • Indian Hotels Company Ltd acquired Campton Place in San Francisco for US$58 million, its third acquisition in the US after The Pierre, the luxurious, landmark hotel on New York’s Fifth Avenue and the Landmark Hotel now re-christened, Taj Boston in January 2007 to expand its reach to 77 hotels located in 52 destinations across 5 continents.