Today, modern India’s indebtedness to Jamsetji Tata, also referred to as the “Father of Indian Industry,” is significant. Although he was unsuccessful in establishing Tata industries, he laid the foundation for future triumphs. Ratan Tata, his great grandson and current Chairman of Tata Group, accomplished these ambitions and expanded the business, propelling Tata into one of Southeast Asia’s esteemed brands. Ratan Tata’s visionary leadership transformed the conglomerate into one of India’s largest corporations while earning admiration for his relentless dedication and work ethic. Moreover, he advocates for democratic dialogue within small groups where participants can freely voice their opinions on any subject. This approach has played a vital role in driving the international success of the Tata Group through recent acquisitions.
Ratan Tata’s Democratic leadership style is characterized by a unique quality. Unlike many who undergo a change in attitude towards their subordinates and workplace after being promoted to a higher position in the hierarchy, Ratan Tata remained unchanged when he became chairman of TISCO (now Tata Steel Ltd.). His team continues to support him as he leads with gentle mandates that are clearly understood by those intended. Additionally, Ratan Tata possesses a visionary mindset that inspires others to think big. He does not discourage individuals who occasionally fail to meet expectations and effectively handles differing opinions by presenting his own viewpoint while also taking the time to carefully listen and reach consensus.
“We are organized more like a telephony model system, which is not one of command-and-control, but one where multiple activities are happening.” – Ratan Tata. Ratan Tata, who embraces a Democratic leadership style, utilizes various theories of leadership. He is considered a successful business leader who incorporates a blend of theories into his business management approach. According to the Hershey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Model, Ratan Tata exhibits a delegating leadership behavior. He actively participates in discussions but transfers the process and responsibility to individual company Managing Directors. Additionally, according to the Blake and Mouton’s Managerial Grid Theory, Ratan Tata demonstrates a high level of readiness and concern for both people and production in Tata Group companies such as Tata Tetley Tea, Tata Motors, and Tata Chemicals. Furthermore, he aligns with the principles of Transformational Leadership theory, possessing all the qualities that define a transformational leader.
Ratan Tata’s vision to make Tata a global company was achieved by introducing the Tata Nano car, priced at 1.5 lakhs INR ($2500 CAD). This exemplifies his commitment to integrity, as he ensures that all his business dealings are conducted fairly, honestly, and transparently. His strategic thinking is further evident in his successful takeovers of JCR, Tetley, and Corus. Additionally, his exceptional communication skills in conveying his visions to his group companies align with the principles of transformational leadership. Overall, Ratan Tata is a prominent business leader who prioritizes doing things the right way and working towards long-term benefits.