Integrity makes Tatas an outstanding business house: Chidambaram

October 25th, 2008 - 7:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 25 (IANS) One of India’s top business conglomerates, the Tata Group, stands out from any other business group in the world due to their intellectual, moral and financial integrity, according to Finance Minister P.Chidambaram.”The essence of the Tatas is their intellectual, moral and financial integrity and that is what makes them stand out from any other business in the world,” Chidambaram told a select gathering of dignitaries here Friday.

“The Tatas never break any laws, they do not cut corners, do not take short cuts. If they get stuck due to bureaucratic red tape or for any other reason they prefer to stay stuck but do not compromise their integrity at any cost,” the finance minister said.

“When 10 years ago they wanted to launch a private airline with Singapore Airlines they were stopped by bureaucratic red tape. They simply said so be it but did not resort to anything that would have compromised their integrity,” he said.

Chidamabaram was addressing invitees after unveiling a book on the history of the world’s fifth largest steel maker, India’s Tata Steel, titled “A Century of Trust” during a glittering function here Friday to celebrate 100 years of the steel major’s existence.

The Tata Iron and Steel Company (Tisco) now Tata Steel was the result of the vision of an Indian merchant prince Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata and the perseverance of his son Dorabji who did not give up on his father’s dream to build an Indian-owned steel plant even after Jamshetji’s death.

Tisco was incorporated August 26, 1907 and the company completed its 100 years of existence last year.

“A 100 years ago to climb the back of an elephant, trudge through the jungles, find iron ore and build a steel plant was a task so formidable that it is the finest example of Indian entrepreneurship,” the finance minister said.

“The Tatas set up the first India-owned steel plant despite many odds and great opposition from the then colonial British government and its steel industry which later became British Steel,” he said.

“Tata Steel’s acquisition of European steel giant Corus, a part of which is the erstwhile British Steel is sweet revenge for the Tatas and Indian entrepreneurship,” he said.

The Tatas acquired the Anglo-Dutch steel producer Corus on January 30, 2007 for $12.15 billion (about Rs.550 billion) to become the fifth largest steel maker in the world.

The acquisition was “a centenary tiara as it were”, writes Rudrangshu Mukherjee in the book ‘A Century of Trust”.

The acquisition helped the Tatas to add 19 million tonnes per annum steel making capacity at half the cost of a greenfield site.

Earlier during the function, Tata Steel Managing Director B. Muthuraman said: “Four beliefs have sustained us through a century despite many adversities and situations of near bankruptcy.”

“These are: oneness with society, adaptability, highly empowered employees and financial prudence,” Muthuraman said.

Paraphrasing these words, Chidambaram said India too will emerge triumphant in the global comity of nations if as a country we too hold on to similar beliefs.

“Oneness of society - imagine a 1,000 Jamshedpurs - and there will be no strife, no communal violence, no bigotry, no parochial discord,” Chidambaram said.

Jamshedpur is the place in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand where Jamsetji began Tata Steel’s century-long journey to global leadership as a steel maker.

Named after Jamshetji Tata, Jamshedpur, which was once Sakchi village bang in the middle of the jungle but where two rivers met, is the place where the Tatas have not only built a steel plant but have also created a modern city with all urban facilities.

Today, it is the headquarters of the Tata Group’s steel business, which now spreads across several locations on the globe.

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