Book reviewed by: Mr C. Ravindranath, Senior Copy Editor, PIC
The brand name ‘Tata’ is ubiquitous. It can be seen on trucks and tea-bags, steel and salt. Chronicling a journey of over 150 years, a journey that began with Jamsetji Tata, founder of what has now become a global conglomerate and a name to reckon with in diverse fields of enterprise.
This eclectic compilation of 40 stories reflects the foresight, determination and perseverance of the Tata clan but above all, they also present those aspects of the Tatas that have been their hallmark – their altruism, social consciousness, patriotism and humane approach in whatever they did.
Right from the provision of provident fund, maternity benefits and crèches to their employees much before laws in this regard were promulgated, to individual instances of benevolence, magnanimity and compassion, the book truly captures the spirit of the Tata enterprise. There are tales of chance meetings that had tremendous impact (the Swami Vivekananda episode) and their never-say-die approach backed by perseverance (the Tetley Tea take-over).
The author’s in-depth knowledge of the Tata ethos is as undisputable as his staunch loyalty to the organisation he has been associated with for well over three decades. These two features shine through each page of the book, making it an emotional expression instead of a dry narration of historical facts.
Significantly, the five guiding principles that influenced J.R.D. Tata as mentioned in his letter to a schoolteacher can become guidelines and inspirations for all of us. All the stories narrated in this book also project the way capitalism can be practised, and who better to guide us than the Tatas? This is an immensely readable and engrossing book both for lay persons and entrepreneurs. It entertains as it illuminates and is well worth a buy.
It is said that truth is stranger than fiction. This book proves that truth is also stronger.