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6 most influential business titans

May 08, 2008

Ratan Tata and Indra Nooyi are among the world's 100 most influential people. The Time magazine lists outstanding personalities, who have made a great impact on the world. Nooyi and Tata figure in the list of 'Builders and Titans'.

The Time magazine describes Nooyi as a 'world class leader'. Ratan Tata is among the top business titans for his revolutionary Rs 100,000 car - the Tata Nano.

Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple Computer, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Media baron Rupert Murdoch and Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim also figure in Time's most influential list. What makes them the most influential? Read on...

Ratan Tata

"One hundred years from now, I expect the Tatas to be much bigger than it is now. More importantly, I hope the Group comes to be regarded as being the best in India - best in the manner in which we operate, best in the products we deliver, and best in our value systems and ethics. Having said that, I hope that a hundred years from now we will spread our wings far beyond India..." Ratan Tata

The Tata Nano, a dream come true for Ratan Tata has been one of the most talked about car across the globe. The Time magazine honours Tata for his outstanding achievement of giving shape to the world's cheapest car.

With Tata at the helm, the Tata conglomerate with businesses in software, automobiles, steel, telecommunication and power has today grown to become a global brand. Under his leadership, the group has expanded its global reach, with its revenues growing over sixfold to Rs 97,000 crore ($21.9 billion).

Tata has built an organisation with a great vision, confident and ready to take on the world. Many foreign brands today have the Tata tag, the most recent being the Jaguar and Land Rover which the Tatas acquired from Ford for $2.3 billion. Tata acquired the truck unit of South Korea's Daewoo Motors, Tata Steel's $13 billion takeover of Dutch-British steel giant Corus Group, New York's Pierre, the Ritz-Carlton in Boston, and San Francisco's Camden Place, Tatas' acquisition list goes on...

An architecture graduate from Cornell University, Tata initially joined Tata Steel, over the years he established himself as a remarkable leader, taking the company to great heights. Heading the Tata Group since 1991, he made several changes to the management and functioning style.

With the launch of the world's cheapest car at Rs 100,000, Tata has become a favourite leader among the masses. It was an idea that struck him when he saw a family of four traveling in a scooter, getting drenched in the rain, a sight that Tata could not forget. The Nano is a dream come true not just for Tata Motors and Ratan Tata but for millions of people aspiring to buy a four-wheeler.

Modest and down-to-earth, the chairman of one of India's biggest corporate houses drives himself to the office in his Tata Indigo Marina car. A businessman with a difference, he prefers to travel alone on business trips.

Image: Chairman of Tata Group Ratan Tata poses in front of the Tata Nano | Photograph: Raveendran/AFP/Getty Images

Also read: A crorepati who lives in a hut!

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