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2015-12_dc

20 D+C  e-Paper  December 2015 Jaguar has been a Tata brand since 2008. Ratan Tata’s most important accomplishment was the multinationalisation of the group without deviating from the “Tata Way”, which goes back to Jamsetji Tata, who started the business empire in the 19th century. The core idea is one of trusteeship. To Jamsetji, wealth was only a secondary object in life, subordinate to improving the industrial and intellec- tual condition of the people and the nation. He stated: “The community is not just another stakeholder in business but is, in fact, the very purpose of its exist- ence.” Tata managers know that ownership must go along with a commitment to social responsibility and business ethics. The group relies on a code of conduct that binds all of its companies. The track record is not perfect. There were mass protests, for instance, when the state government of West Bengal drove farmers from their land to make space for a factory. In the end, the Tatas relocated to more accommodating Gujarat. By and large, however, the ethical approach has served the group well in terms of financial results, strong reputation and staff loyalty. Since the ability to do good depends on com- mercial success, the management has striven for excellence in technology, management practices Global leadership Tata Motors is among the world’s top commercial vehicle makers. Its most prestigious brands are Jag- uar and Land Rover, which were acquired in 2007. In many Asian and African countries, however, the Tata brand is even better known for its seemingly omni- present buses and trucks. The Tata Nano, a small car that costs the equivalent of only $ 3,000, was an engi- neering achievement that needs to be fine-tuned for greater commercial success. As is typical for the Tata group, the guiding idea was a social one: to provide young Indian families with an affordable four wheeler that would be safer than the commonly used scoot- ers. Tata Steel has become one of the world’s top steel- makers after buying the European Corus group. In his sustainability report for 2013-14, T. V. Narendran, the managing director of Tata Steel, referred to the group motto of “excellence for the common good” and reiterated that long-term success depends on the “ethos of value creation for all stakeholders and a culture rooted in growth through ethical business means”. One result of this approach is the mass hous- ing programme called “Nest-In” in India. It relies on innovative materials among other things. How Tata Steel can cope with the global crisis affecting its industry remains to be seen. Tata Communications has become a giant in the global internet business, and Tata Consultancy Ser- vices, the group’s IT arm, is similarly a force to be reckoned with. It spearheaded the model of develop- ing solutions for offshore clients. It has created thou- sands of high-technology jobs in India this way. (arg) Lineair

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