Book explores philanthropy angle in Tata story
The values at the heart of the Tata Group as well as the role played in its development by the philanthropic trusts that own two-thirds of the company are explored in a new book that is a brief history of the Tatas.
How did Tata transform itself from a family-owned venture to the position it is today in an array of unrelated businesses? What is the ‘Tata Way’, which has earned it much admiration and respect?
These are among several aspects that the book “The Greatest Company in the World?: The Story of Tata” by Peter Casey looks into.
It charts the contribution of every Tata chairman – from Jamsetji Tata, who set up the company in 1868, to Ratan Tata and Cyrus Mistry in transforming the company into one of the most professionally-managed enterprises in the world.
As founder and Executive Chairman of Claddagh Resources, Casey decided to write the book initially to help his recruiters and executive search consultants have a better understanding of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which over 14 years, had become his company’s biggest client.
“It was supposed to just be a short 15-page summary, but the more I started studying TCS and Tata, the more captivated I got and the project developed a life of its own,” he says.
According to the writer, while other successful capitalists and captains of industry started companies to create profit and, thereby, wealth, Jamsetji Tata planted the seeds of philanthropic trusts, which now own 66 per cent of the Tata Group.
“In harmony with his religion, Tata’s company would exist to finance and initiate projects to improve the lives of the people of India,” he says.
“So, Jamsetji Tata became not only a catalyst for sweeping change in his vast homeland, but, in the process, conceptualised an entirely new way of doing business as well as philanthropy. What he began has changed the lives of billions, as the company he founded continues to work for the betterment of society,” he says.