Sustainable development cannot be achieved by a single enterprise or even by the entire business community in isolation. It is a pervasive philosophy to which every stakeholder in society and participant in the global economy must willingly subscribe.
Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, the Tata group is a global enterprise, headquartered in India, comprising over 100 independent operating companies. The group operates in more than 100 countries across six continents, with a mission 'To improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust'.
Tata Sons is the principal investment holding company and promoter of Tata companies. Sixty-six percent of the equity share capital of Tata Sons is held by philanthropic trusts, which support education, health, livelihood generation and art and culture. In 2014-15, the revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $108.78 billion. These companies collectively employ over 600,000 people.
Each Tata company or enterprise operates independently under the guidance and supervision of its own board of directors and shareholders. There are 29 publicly-listed Tata enterprises with a combined market capitalisation of about $116.41 billion (as on March 31, 2016). Tata companies with significant scale include Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Teleservices, Titan, Tata Communications and Indian Hotels.
Many Tata companies have achieved global leadership in their businesses. For instance, Tata Communications is #1 international wholesale voice provider and Tata Motors is among the top ten commercial vehicle manufacturers in the world. Tata Steel is among the top fifteen best steelmakers and TCS is the second largest IT services company in the world by market cap and profit. Tata Global Beverages is the second-largest tea company in the world and Tata Chemicals is the world’s second-largest manufacturer of soda ash. Employing a diverse workforce in their operations, Tata companies have made significant local investments in different geographies.
In tandem with the increasing international footprint of Tata companies, the Tata brand is also gaining international recognition. Tata companies bring to their customers worldwide a whole host of reputed brands which touch their lives every day. Brand Finance, a UK-based consultancy firm, has valued Tata’s multi-brand portfolio at over $23 billion in 2015.
With its pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit, the Tata group has spawned several industries of national importance in India: steel, hydro-power, hospitality and airlines. The same spirit, coupled with innovativeness, has been displayed by entities such as TCS, India’s first software company, and Tata Motors, which made India’s first indigenously developed car, the Tata Indica and the smart city car, the Tata Nano. Pursuit of excellence has similarly been manifested in recent innovations like the SilentTrack technology developed by Tata Steel Europe and the next-generation Terrain Response, including infrared laser scanning to predict terrain, and Wade Aid to predict water depth, by Jaguar Land Rover.
The Tata trusts, majority shareholders of Tata Sons, have endowed institutions for science and technology, medical research, social studies and the performing arts. The trusts also provide aid and assistance to non-government organisations working in the areas of education, health care and livelihoods. Tata companies themselves undertake a wide range of social welfare activities, especially at the locations of their operations, as also deploy sustainable business practices.
Going forward, Tata companies are building multinational businesses that seek to differentiate themselves through customer-centricity, innovation, entrepreneurship, trustworthiness and values-driven business operations, while balancing the interests of diverse stakeholders including shareholders, employees and civil society.