Bill Gates maintains his position as the world’s richest man in the Forbes annual list with a net worth of $86.0 billion. Warren Buffet, with a net worth of $75.6 billion, stands at No.2, followed by big names including Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and others.
But, you’ll be amazed to know that there actually is a multinational company that is making more money than all those whose Chairpersons make it to the list of the wealthiest people on the globe. And this conglomerate is none other than the Tata Group of India.
The company was founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868 and gained international recognition after its association with various brands worldwide. Today, they are running 96 companies and there exist 30 publically listed Tata enterprises including Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Teleservices, Titan, Tata Communications, Taj Group and several more, with a with a combined market capitalisation of about $130 billion. In India, 4 out 5 top-ranked “Responsible business” companies belong the Tata Group.
Why then is Ratan Tata, the former Chairperson, and the Tata family’s heir, never named among those making an insane amount of money?
It is because 65% of the family’s and the company’s fortune is given away as charity. Thus, the profit made by many enterprises goes to charitable organizations and is not added in Ratan Tata’s personal financial statement. Ratan Tata’s net worth as an individual does not cross the 1 billion mark.
Born on 28 December 1937, Ratan Tata is the son of Naval Tata, whom Navajbai Tata adopted from J. N. Petit Parsi Orphanage. He studied B. Arch. at Cornell University, and the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 1975. He took up the position of Tata Group’s chairman in 1991. Under his administration, the company’s revenue increased by 40% and its profit by 50%.
The Tata family has been involved in philanthropic work since their establishment. They have contributed a lot to the betterment of healthcare facilities, improving the education system, fighting for equal rights, sports, and preservation of arts in India.
They were awarded the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in 2007.
Their charity work is not limited to India but they give away a percentage of their profit for international causes too.
Tata group donated ₹ 2.20 billion ($50 million) to the Harvard Business School, the largest amount received by the institute from an international donor.
The amount was given for the construction of an academic block and a residential building on the school’s campus in Boston, Massachusetts.
They also launched an in-home water-purification device, called Tata swach. This amazing product was sold for less than 1000 rupees (US$21).
“What I would like to do is to leave behind a sustainable entity of a set of companies that operate in an exemplary manner in terms of ethics, values and continue what our ancestors left behind”– Ratan Tata
Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS) designed a software that claims to teach an illiterate person how to read within 40 hours.
The company makes sure its employees are taken care of. They introduced modern pension system, medical facilities, maternity leaves, and much more in their offices all over India.
After the Taj hotel was attacked, the Tata Group did not leave its employees helpless while the building was being renovated and was dysfunctional. In fact, all of the stuff kept receiving their paychecks throughout this time. The company also compensated the railway employees, police staff, and even the pedestrians, the market vendors, and the shopkeepers.
Following are some of their amazing institutes working for social welfare:
- The Energy and Resources Institute, a non-governmental research institute
- The JRD Tata Ecotechnology Centre
- National Centre for Performing Arts
- Tata Center for Technology & Design at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Tata Centre for Technology & Design at IIT Bombay
- Tata Cricket Academy
- Tata Football Academy
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences
- Tata Management Training Centre
- Tata Medical Center, inaugurated on 16 May 2011 by Ratan Tata
- Tata Memorial Hospital
- Tata Trusts, a group of philanthropic organizations
- Tata Cancer Hospital
Recently, the Tata Group announced that they’ll work to completely eradicate malaria from India. $70 million will be invested in constructing The Tata Institute of Genetics and Society in Bengaluru that will modify the DNA of Indian mosquitoes to make the country free of this deadly disease. Ratan Tata will himself hold a position as a trustee of the institute.
Thus, it is this vast variety of welfare work done on gigantic scales because of which the company cannot claim to be named among the richest ones in the world. Their priority is not making to any lists but to actually do valuable thinks to make this world a better place to live in. The love of public for Ratan Tata and the respect they give him is sufficient to make him feel like the wealthiest, the happiest, and the most satisfied man alive.