Ratan Tata dismisses 'ghost-shadow' talk over Tata Group

Ratan Tata

"So it was a period of learning, a period of frustration also from time to time. Things didn't happen which as a young man I thought should happen.

"As an older person I understand being told as I was at that time that you have to be patient and so on as things don't happen as you might wish them to be."

Summing up his life with the 144-year-old conglomerate, Tata said, "On the whole it has been a very rewarding experience. I tried to uphold the values and ethical standards that were there.

"I feel satisfied that I have done my best to do what I considered to be the right thing and that has been there throughout."

Asked about moments of frustration, Tata said that there were many, recalling his first job in the foundries of TELCO where when one asked why something was being done in a particular way, one was told, 'this is the way we have done it and it is the best way'.

Has that changed in the group now?, Tata was asked.

"I have tried to change. I have been constantly telling people to encourage people to question the unquestioned and not to be ashamed to bring up new ideas, new processes to get things done.

"It has changed to some extent. I would be arrogant and lying if I were to say it has really changed. There are pockets which have changed and there are pockets which continue to be just as they were," he replied.

Asked about the goals he had set for himself when he took over as chairman in 1991, Tata replied that one of the fundamental goals he had set was to restructure the group into a more cohesive one with lesser number of activities and companies. But he had not succeeded very much.

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