The Tata group comprises over 100 operating companies in seven business sectors: communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals. The group has operations in more than 80 countries across six continents, and its companies export products and services to 85 countries.
The total revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $100.09 billion (around Rs475,721 crore) in 2011-12, with 58 percent of this coming from business outside India. Tata companies employ over 450,000 people worldwide. The Tata name has been respected in India for more than 140 years for its adherence to strong values and business ethics.
Every Tata company or enterprise operates independently. Each of these companies has its own board of directors and shareholders, to whom it is answerable. There are 32 publicly listed Tata enterprises and they have a combined market capitalisation of about $91.51 billion (as on May 23, 2013), and a shareholder base of 3.8 million. The major Tata companies are Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Teleservices, Titan, Tata Communications and Indian Hotels.
Tata Steel is among the top ten steelmakers, and Tata Motors is among the top five commercial vehicle manufacturers, in the world. TCS is a leading global software company, with delivery centres in the US, UK, Hungary, Brazil, Uruguay and China, besides India. Tata Global Beverages is the second-largest player in tea in the world. Tata Chemicals is the world’s second-largest manufacturer of soda ash and Tata Communications is one of the world’s largest wholesale voice carriers.
In tandem with the increasing international footprint of Tata companies, the Tata brand is also gaining international recognition. Brand Finance, a UK-based consultancy firm, valued the Tata brand at $18.16 billion and ranked it 39th among the top 500 most valuable global brands in their BrandFinance® Global 500 2013 report. In 2010, BusinessWeek magazine ranked Tata 17th among the '50 Most Innovative Companies' list.
Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, Tata’s early years were inspired by the spirit of nationalism. It pioneered several industries of national importance in India: steel, power, hospitality and airlines. In more recent times, its pioneering spirit has been showcased by companies such as TCS, India’s first software company, and Tata Motors, which made India’s first indigenously developed car, the Indica, in 1998 and recently unveiled the world’s most affordable car, the Tata Nano.
Tata companies have always believed in returning wealth to the society they serve. Two-thirds of the equity of Tata Sons, the Tata promoter holding company, is held by philanthropic trusts that have created national institutions for science and technology, medical research, social studies and the performing arts. The trusts also provide aid and assistance to non-government organisations working in the areas of education, healthcare and livelihoods. Tata companies also extend social welfare activities to communities around their industrial units. The combined development-related expenditure of the trusts and the companies amounts to around 3 percent of the group's net profits in 2011.
Going forward, Tata is focusing on new technologies and innovation to drive its business in India and internationally. The Nano car is one example, as is the Eka supercomputer (developed by another Tata company), which in 2008 was ranked the world’s fourth fastest. Anchored in India and wedded to traditional values and strong ethics, Tata companies are building multinational businesses that will achieve growth through excellence and innovation, while balancing the interests of shareholders, employees and civil society.