The Tatas: How a Family Built a Business and a Nation Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Winner of the Gaja Capital Business Book Prize 2019
The 19th century was an exciting time of initiative and enterprise around the world. If John D. Rockefeller was creating unimagined wealth in the United States that he would put to the service of the nation, a Parsi family with humble roots was doing the same in India.
In 1822, a boy was born in a priestly household in Gujarat's Navsari village. Young Nusserwanji knew early on that his destiny lay beyond his village and decided to head for Bombay to start a business - the first in his family to do so. He had neither higher education nor knowledge of business matters, just a burning passion to carve a path of his own. What Nusserwanji started as a cotton trading venture, his son Jamsetji, born in the same year as Rockefeller, grew into a multifaceted business, turning around sick textile mills, setting up an iron and steel company, envisioning a cutting-edge institute of higher learning, building a world-class hotel, and earning himself the title of the 'Bhishma Pitamah of Indian Industry'.
Stewarded ably over the decades by Jamsetji's sons, Dorabji and Ratanji, the charismatic and larger-than-life JRD, and thereafter the more businesslike Ratan, the Tata group today is a $110 billion empire. The Tatas is their story. But it is more than just a history of the industrial house; it is an inspiring account of India in the making. It chronicles how each generation of the family invested not only in the expansion of its own business interests but also in nation building. Few know, for instance, that the first hydel power project in the world was conceived of and built by the Tatas. Nor that some radical labour concepts such as eight-hour work shifts were born in India, at the Tata mill in Nagpur. The Tata Cancer Research Centre, the Indian Institute of Science, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, and the national carrier Air India - the family has a long, rich and unrivalled legacy.
The Tatas is a tribute to a line of visionaries who have a special place in the hearts and minds of ordinary Indians. Written by seasoned journalist Girish Kuber, this is also the only book that tells the complete Tata story spanning almost 200 years.
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 41 minutes|
|Author||Girish Kuber, Vikrant Pande - translator|
|Audible.in Release Date||17 March 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #73 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#4 in Biographies of Business Leaders
#155 in Biographies & Autobiographies (Books)
Reviewed in India on 18 May 2022
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By Subhajyoti C. on 19 May 2022
The author have brought clear justice to his writing.
Top reviews from other countries
They struggled lot from past and their main focus to build the nation. Great book.
BUILDING ONE OF THE WORLD’S BIGGEST BUSINESSES—AND MUCH MORE
The sheer number of businesses the Tata family has built over the years is extraordinary and includes many of India’s most iconic institutions. All told, the Tatas have established more than 100 companies, including Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Steel, Tata Motors (including Jaguar and Land Rover), Tata Chemicals, Indian Hotels Company (including Taj Hotels), Tata Power Company, and Air India. Every one of these businesses is a multi-billion-dollar enterprise. The Tata Group as a whole employs 935,000 people and has a current market cap of $311 billion.
But two-thirds of the Tata Group’s stock is held by various philanthropic trusts established by the family. The pioneer industrialist who founded the firm, Jamsetji Tata (1839-1904), set the pattern for the family. He himself gave a total equivalent today to more than $100 billion in his lifetime, making him the world’s most generous philanthropist (yes, even more so than Bill and Melinda Gates). To date, the family’s many trusts have contributed a total of $832 billion to charity. No other institution comes even remotely close to that record.
PRACTICING CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Tata family enterprises are extraordinary in another respect as well. Some people who found successful companies turn to philanthropy late in life after having amassed fortunes through cut-throat competition. By contrast, the Tatas have always placed humane values at the top of the agenda in running their businesses. For example, the family pioneered “the world’s earliest worker welfare policies.” And they consistently treated their employees well over a century and a half of operations. The Tatas practiced Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) nearly a century before the term came into use.
UNFORTUNATELY, THIS BOOK IS DEEPLY FLAWED
Girish Kuber writes in Marathi, a language spoken largely in southwestern India. The book has been translated into English. Unfortunately, the result is an account that reads as though it was written by an adolescent who learned English as a third language. Clearly, the translator was not a native English speaker. The book is full of awkward phrasing and grammatical errors. To make matters worse, the translator sprinkled exclamation marks throughout the text, as though some unremarkable declarative sentence every page or two deserves wide-eyed attention.
It’s also notable that the author barely mentions the Tata family’s religion. They are Zoroastrians—originally, ethnic Persians called Parsis in India. Although some of the major figures in the family over the past century and a half have married outside their faith, most have not. And it’s a mistake to overlook the influence that the Parsi emphasis on charity has played in their commitment to using their accumulated wealth to benefit the Indian public.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Girish Kuber is an Indian journalist and author who is the author of at least five books. He writes in Marathi. Kuber is the editor of the daily Marathi-language newspaper, Loksatta. The paper’s reported circulation is around 347,000. The Indian Express Group publishes the paper in nine cities in the state of Maharashtra, India, including Mumbai and Pune.
In some places felt like a school text book but it was still a good read..