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The Tata Group ( ) is a multinational conglomerate based in Mumbaimarker, Indiamarker. In terms of market capitalization and revenues, Tata Group is the largest private corporate group in India and has been recognized as one of the most respected companies in the world. It has interests in steel, automobiles, information technology, communication, power, tea and hospitality. The Tata Group has operations in more than 85 countries across six continents and its companies export products and services to 80 nations. The Tata Group comprises 114 companies and subsidiaries in seven business sectors , 27 of which are publicly listed. 65.8% of the ownership of Tata Group is held in charitable trusts. Companies which form a major part of the group include Tata Steel, Corus Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Technologies, Tata Tea, Titan Industries, Tata Power, Tata Communications, Tata Teleservices, Tata AutoComp Systems Limited and the Taj Hotels.

The group takes the name of its founder, Jamsetji Tata, a member of whose family has almost invariably been the chairman of the group. The current chairman of the Tata group is Ratan Tata, who took over from J. R. D. Tata in 1991 and is currently one of the major international business figures in the age of globality. The company is currently in its fifth generation of family stewardship.

The 2009 annual survey by the Reputation Institute ranked Tata Group as the 11th most reputable company in the world. The survey included 600 global companies.


The beginnings of the Tata Group can be traced back to 1868, when Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata established a trading company dealing in Opium in Bombay. This was followed by the installation of Empress Mills in Nagpurmarker in 1877. Taj Mahal Hotelmarker in Bombay was opened for business in 1903. Sir Dorab Tata, the eldest son of Jamsetji became the chairman of the group after his fathers death in 1904. Under him, the group ventured into steel production (1905) and hydroelectric power generation(1910). After the death of Dorab Tata in 1934, Nowroji Saklatwala headed the group till 1938. He was succeeded by JRD Tata. The group expanded significantly under him with the establishment of Tata Chemicals (1939), Tata Motors and Tata Industries (both 1945), Voltas (1954), Tata Tea (1962), Tata Consultancy Services (1968) and Titan Industries (1984). Ratan Tata, the incumbent chairman of the group succeeded JRD Tata in 1991.



  • Tata Power is one of the largest private sector power companies. It supplies power to Mumbaimarker, the commercial capital of India and parts of New Delhimarker.



Consumer Products

Information systems and communications

The Tata logo

The Tata logo was designed by the Wolff Olins consultancy. The logo is meant to signify fluidity; it may also be seen as a fountain of knowledge; maybe a tree of trust under which people can take refuge.

Philanthropy and nation building

The Tata Group has helped establish and finance numerous quality research, educational and cultural institutes in India. It is the one of the leading and enormously respected philanthropic corporate entity in India. The Tata Group was awarded the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in 2007 in recognition of the group's long history of philanthropic activities. Some of the institutes established by the Tata Group are:

A comprehensive list is available on the company website.

Tata acquisitions and targets



Tata gets more than half of its revenue from outside India.

Controversies and Criticisms

Kalinganagar, Orissa

On January 2, 2006, policemen at Kalinganagar, Orissa, opened fire at a crowd of tribal villagers. The villagers were protesting the construction of a compound wall on land historically owned by them, for a Tata steel plant. Some of the corpses were returned to the families in a mutilated condition. When pushed for comment, TATA officials said the incident was unfortunate but that it would continue with its plans to set up the plant.

Dow Chemicals, Bhopal Gas Disaster

In November 2006, survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster were outraged by Ratan Tata’s offer to bail out Union Carbide and facilitate investments by Carbide’s new owner Dow Chemical. Tata had proposed leading a charitable effort to clean-up the toxic wastes abandoned by Carbide in Bhopal. At a time when the Government of India has held Dow Chemical liable for the clean-up and requested Rs. 100 crores from the American MNC, survivor’s groups felt that Tata’s offer was aimed at frustrating legal efforts to hold the company liable, and motivated by a desire to facilitate Dow’s investments in India.

Supplies to Burma’s military regime

TATA Motors reported deals to supply hardware and automobiles to Burma’s oppressive and anti-democratic military junta has come in for criticism from human rights and democracy activists. In December 2006, Gen. Thura Shwe Mann, Myanmar’s chief of general staff visited the Tata Motors plant in Pune. ["Myanmar Ties." December 8, 2006. The Telegraph, Calcutta, India]. In 2009, TATA Motors announced that it would press ahead with plans to manufacture trucks in Myanmar.,

Land acquisition in Singur

The Singur controversy in West Bengal led to further questions over TATA’s social record, with protests by local villagers and some political parties over forcible eviction and inadequate compensation to those being displaced for the TATA Nano plant. As the protests gathered steam, and despite having the support of the ruling CPI(M) government, TATA eventually pulled the project out of the state of West Bengal, citing safety concerns. The Singur controversy was one of the few occasions when Ratan Tata was forced to publicly address criticisms and concerns on any environmental or social issue. Ratan Tata’s subsequent embrace of and praise for Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, also earned him brickbats on account of Modi’s openly communal stance and his performance as Chief Minister during the 2002 pogrom that saw hundreds of Muslims killed in riots within the state.

Dhamra Port

On the environmental front, the Dhamra port controversy has received significant coverage, both within India and in Tata’s emerging global markets. (‘India – Tata in troubled waters’, Ethical Corporation, November 2007, London, UK)

The Dhamra port, a venture between TATA Steel and Larsen & Toubro, has come in for criticism for its proximity to the Gahirmatha Sanctuary and Bitharkanika National Park, from Indian and international organizations, including Greenpeace. Gahirmatha is one of the world’s largest mass nesting sites for the olive ridley turtle and Bitharkanika is a designated Ramsar site and India’s second largest mangrove forest. TATA officials have denied that the port poses an ecological threat, and stated that mitigation measures are being employed with the advice of the IUCN. On the other hand, conservation organizations, including Greenpeace, have pointed out that no proper Environment Impact Analysis has been done for the project, which has undergone changes in size and specifications since it was first proposed and that the port could interfere with mass nesting at the Gahirmtha beaches and the ecology of the Bitharkanika mangrove forest.,

Protests by Greenpeace to Dhamra Port construction is also alleged to be less on factual data and more on hype and DPCL's (Dhamra Port Company Limited) response to Greenpeace questions harbours on these facts ,.

Soda extraction plant in Tanzania

Tata, along with a Tanzanian company, joined forces to build a soda ash extraction plant in Tanzania. The Tanzanian government is all for the project. On the other hand, environmental activists are opposing the plant because it would be near Lake Natronmarker, and it could possibly affect the lake's ecosystem and its neighboring dwellers. Tata was planning to change the site of the plant so it would be built 32 km from the lake, but the opposition still thinks it would negatively disturb the environment. It could also jeopardize the Lesser Flamingo birds there, which are already endangered. Lake Natron is where two thirds of Lesser Flamingos reproduce. Producing soda ash involves drawing out salt water from the lake, and then disposing the water back to the lake. This process could interrupt the chemical make up of the lake. Twenty-two African nations are against the creation of the project and have signed a petition to stop its construction.

See also


  1. Sirkin, Harold L; James W. Hemerling, and Arindam K. Bhattacharya (11-06-2008). GLOBALITY: Competing with Everyone from Everywhere for Everything.New York: Business Plus, 304. ISBN 0446178292.
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