Growth under Dorabji and J.R.D. Tata
Under the chairmanship of Dorabji Tata, the Tata Iron and Steel company (TISCO), now known as Tata Steel, was founded in 1907. Additionally, under his leadership, the group ventured into a diverse array of industries including education, consumer goods and aviation. The commencement of Tata Power Limited marked the advent of one of the largest integrated power companies in India. Under Dorabji, the overseas office of Tata Group in London marked the beginning of the company’s global outreach.
In the early years of his stewardship of the group, J.R.D. Tata continued expansion into the industries of chemical, technology, cosmetics, marketing, engineering, and tea, to name a few. In 1945, the Tata Group founded the Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company (TELCO), renamed Tata Motors in 2003. TELCO manufactured its first commercial vehicle in 1954 in collaboration with Daimler-Benz AG.
By the early 90’s, Tata entered the passenger vehicle market, making it the first Indian manufacturer to achieve the capability of developing a competitive indigenous automobile. 1998 saw Tata launching India’s first fully indigenous automobile - Indica, and later manufacture the world’s cheapest car - Nano. Tata Motors leads the number of Indian commercial vehicles accounting for more than half the exports.
Ratan Tata - taking on the world
Upon assuming leadership of conglomerate in 1991, Ratan Tata sought to expand it aggressively. During his years in office, Tata Tea acquired, Tetley and Tata Motors acquired the British automobile manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover, spreading the global reach of the Tata Group. Furthermore, Tata Group merged with German steel giants ThyssenKrupp to make it Europe’s second largest producers of steel, second only to ArcelorMittal.
Tata continues to be India’s leading brand, supplemented by Indian Hotels, another hospitality subsidiary of the group. Tata Consultancy Services, another subsidiary provides information technology services. TCS was a high-ranking IT services vendor worldwide based on revenue.
The onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic led to voluntary cutbacks in remunerations of the group’s CEOs. Despite obvious business impacts on non-essential sectors (specifically automotive) with record quarterly losses, cost reduction plans and devising exit strategies, the conglomerate contributed to the fight against the virus.