The DNA of Success with Ratan Tata
“Insight – The DNA of Success” 2014 by Isha Foundation provided business leaders with practical takeaways to multiply capability and manage external situations and inner growth. The 4 day program from November 27-30 saw some of India’s most celebrated leaders including Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons, Ratan Tata, Co-Chairman and CEO, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd GV Prasad, Speaker, author and coach of Fortune 500 CEOs Dr Ram Charan and Former Chairman, Microsoft India & Cummins India Ravi Venkatesan, sharing their life journeys and experiences.
Ratan Tata, who presided over one of the most respected Indian business empires and led the biggest scaling up post liberalisation of the Indian economy inspired the participants including Here and Now 365‘s Managing Director Manish Tiwari with whom he had a brief interaction.
On Day 2, Mr. Tata spoke about his journey with the Tata group and how it isn’t globalisation but internationalisation that has taken his business global – starting with the acquisition of JLR in UK. According to him globalisation sounds more like imposing your culture around the world while internationalism is more inclusive, where we accept the host countries culture as well.
He spoke about inclusive economics and said: “When going global, what companies need to do is see what they bring to the table, the soul they bring to the environment. You need a sense of compassion for the people who are now a part of you.”
It is the inner feeling of doing the right thing that he places utmost importance on because a leader should be guided by doing the right thing for that community or geography. Just like his role model JRD Tata. Talking about his teachings, Ratan Tata said: “He ran businesses not to maximise profits but to maximise impact on the community.”
The staff at the Taj Hotel are a shining example of thinking about the greater good for the community, during the horrific 26/11 attacks in 2008, which is now used as a case study at Harvard. Looking back at the terrific spirit that people embodied, he said: “Though there was no manual, people at the Taj just came together and did what they could. Several employees even lost their lives during the attack.” How the Taj employees acted is a shining example of how spirit overtakes a situation.
The session continued with some thoughts on the importance of cultivating an ambience of innovation within the company. “There is no doctrine for innovation other than that you are open,” as innovation will happen when you want to go to work feeling you have the freedom to innovate.
Exploring the idea of sustainability in a business environment he said: “The worst thing we can do for our country is give everyone a sense of dependability on some outside force.” He explained how the Tata Group is helping communities and individuals in many ways, but it has to be self-sustainable. “We are changing from money-givers to idea-givers, to make communities self-sustainable,” he said.
At the end of the session he left the participants with some inspiring words – “For an entrepreneur, there has to be an inner driving force that cannot come from a textbook. See what you want to do and have the courage to pursue that.”
Manish Tiwari, who was one of the privileged participants felt: “To see leaders like Ratan Tata, GV Prasad and the extraordinary talent present at the Insights 2014 one can be filled with palpable excitement. As India’s growth is going to touch more international shores, Tata’s success in UK is a harbinger of good tides and surely the Indian diaspora will have a larger role to play.”