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‘Never before has the urge to do more been greater,’ Ratan Tata on retirement

The popular ‘Humans of Bombay’ page has dropped the final post of a three-part series based on the unheard life stories of business tycoon Ratan Tata. After some lesser known facts about his family, college days and even love life, this one throws light on Tata’s compassionate nature towards his company and employees. The post, shared on Facebook and Instagram, details Tata’s life after retirement and his advice to the young generation of the country.

Shared March 3, the post opens with Tata describing how his vision went beyond just managing the TATA group of companies. “My focus was on creating something that was bigger than us all and on giving back, which has been entwined in the TATA DNA since the very beginning,” he says. He goes on to describe how he tried to change the landscape of Jamshedpur, which housed the first industry of the TATA group. “We realised that while our workers were thriving, the surrounding villages were still suffering. It became our goal to uplift their quality of life as well,” he adds.

The chairman emeritus of the TATA group goes on to talk about how he got the idea of the TATA car – Nano. “I remember seeing a family of 4 on a motorbike in the heavy Bombay rain — I knew I wanted to do more for these families who were risking their lives for lack of an alternative. By the time we launched the Nano, our costs were higher, but I had made a promise, and we delivered on that promise,” he adds.

Tata also talks about why he didn’t get married and how he spends his time post retirement. He believes he is not quite ‘retired’ and doesn’t spend one lazy moment in his life. He prefers interacting with people from all age groups and learns from them.

The post concludes with Tata sharing advice to the next generation. “At 82, I’m still learning, so when you ask me to give a piece of advice, I feel like the ‘right advice’ changes over a period of time — but the one thing that remains unchanged is the desire to do the right thing,” he says. “When you look back at your life, that’s what’s going to matter the most. Doing the right thing,” he adds.

Read the entire post below:

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(3/3) “Ever since, my life has been for & about growing the company. When I was appointed Chairman, it was believed my surname got me the position, but my focus was on creating something bigger than us all & on giving back, which has been in the TATA DNA since the start. With Jamshedpur for instance, while our workers were thriving, the surrounding villages were suffering. It became our goal to uplift their quality of life as well… things like these came naturally to us. Even with the Nano–I remember seeing a family of 4 on a bike in the heavy Bombay rain—I wanted to do more for these families who were risking their lives for lack of an alternative. By the time we launched the Nano, our costs were higher, but I’d made a promise & we delivered. Looking back, I’m proud of the car & the decision to go ahead with it. That’s what my life has been about—work became a lifestyle. I was always at Bombay House or travelling, that’s why even though I came close to marriage with 2-3 different partners, I couldn’t go through with it because they’d have to adjust to my lifestyle & that didn’t sit right with me. Now that I’m retired, that lifestyle has changed again. People ask if I’m truly ‘retired’ & to that I say—there’s no doubt about it. I’m enjoying the separation from the company—I don’t look at newspapers & worry about the bad stuff anymore. But let me tell you, retirement isn't about playing golf, or reading on a beach, whilst sipping on a cocktail. In fact, never before has the urge to do more, been greater. From affordable cancer treatment, to making the lives in rural India easier—I’m looking forward to making it happen at the Tata Trust. I’m trying to enjoy myself to be honest—I’m spending time with friends—old & new, across age groups, who I’m constantly learning from. At 82, I’m still learning, so when you ask me to give advice, I feel like the ‘right advice’ changes over a period of time—but the one thing that remains unchanged is the desire to do the right thing. So I’ll say this—leave the advice & do the right thing, even if it isn’t the easiest thing to do. When you look back at your life, that’s what’s going to matter the most. Doing the right thing.”

A post shared by Humans of Bombay (@officialhumansofbombay) on

The post has garnered almost 90,000 likes and Ratan Tata has managed to win the hearts of netizens once more with his humble and compassionate nature.

What do you think of this three part series on Ratan Tata’s life?

Also read | Ratan Tata’s journey: From being the ‘worst choice’ to heading Tata Sons

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