Industrialist Ratan Tata concluded his three-part interview with Humans of Bombay by talking about life after retirement, why he never married and how he got the idea for Tata Nano. “Ever since, my life has been for and about growing the company,” began Mr Tata, picking up where he signed off last time when he spoke about being appointed Chairman of Tata Group.
In the post, Ratan Tata, 82, said that the idea of giving back to the community has been entwined in the Tata DNA since the very beginning. “With Jamshedpur for instance, we realised that while our workers were thriving, the surrounding villages were still suffering,” he said. “It became our goal to uplift their quality of life as well.”
The Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons also spoke about his brainchild, the Tata Nano car, and why he decided to invest resources into building an affordable vehicle. He explained that it was seeing a family of four travelling on a motorbike in heavy rains that made him want to “do more for these families who were risking their lives for lack of an alternative.”
“By the time we launched the Nano, our costs were higher, but I had made a promise, and we delivered on that promise,” said Ratan Tata. “Looking back, I’m still proud of the car and the decision to go ahead with it.”
The Tata Nano was launched India’s most affordable car over 10 year ago. However, sales of the car failed to take off, and it was also plagued by safety concerns after a number of cases of engines bursting into flames.
Now, when he is retired, Mr Tata says his lifestyle has changed again, and it’s not about playing golf or sipping cocktails at the beach. For him, he says, the urge to do more has never been greater.
“From affordable cancer treatment, to looking into making the lives in rural India easier — I’m looking forward to this chapter of making it happen at the Tata Trusts.”
Mr Tata concluded his interview by offering a piece of ‘advice’. “Leave the advice aside and do what is the right thing, even if it isn’t the easiest thing to do,” he said. “When you look back at your life, that’s what’s going to matter the most. Doing the right thing.”