Ratan Tata's First Resume and How He Landed His Initial Job

Discover Ratan Tata's inspiring journey from crafting his first resume to leading a global empire, marked by vision and philanthropy

Ratan Tata's First Resume and How He Landed His Initial Job

Tuesday September 05, 2023,

3 min Read

Ratan Tata, the iconic face of the Tata Group, carries forward a legacy that stretches back more than 150 years. But did you know that he began his illustrious career not with an impressive CV in hand, but a humble, typed-out resume prompted by a call from JRD Tata?

The Call That Shaped a Legacy

Fresh out of his education in the United States, Ratan Tata was no different from any other young aspirant starting out in the professional world. With no structured resume to his name, it was an unexpected call from JRD Tata that set him on the path to crafting his very first CV. Upon hearing of Tata's potential employment with IBM, JRD intervened, making it clear that he saw a different path for the young Ratan in India. “He called me one day and he said you can’t be here in India and working for IBM," recalls Tata. In response, using an electric typewriter in the IBM office, he promptly put together a resume and handed it over.

This seemingly small act of creating a resume led to Tata's initial position at Tata Industries in 1962. What followed was a journey through the conglomerate's many divisions, from Telco (now Tata Motors) to Tisco (now Tata Steel).

Challenging Beginnings in the World of Business

However, this transition from a student in the US to a budding employee in the Tata Group wasn’t seamless. Although Tata's formative years and education, including his significant time spent at Cornell University, had instilled in him a global perspective, the world wasn't ready to accept him without skepticism. Many viewed his ascent to the role of chairman in 1991 as mere inheritance, doubting his ability to fill the enormous shoes of his predecessors.

Yet, the winds of change were in the air. As India's economy began to liberalise, Ratan Tata took this as an opportunity to reshape and rejuvenate the diverse businesses of the group. Overcoming skepticism and leveraging the country's shifting economic landscape, Tata demonstrated why he was not just an heir, but a visionary leader.

A Legacy Rooted in Values

Amidst all the corporate achievements, it's crucial to look back at where Tata's foundation of ethics and values came from. Born into opulence, young Ratan was always reminded of humility and moral responsibility, primarily by his grandmother, Navajbai R. Tata. Despite the luxury surrounding him, lessons of discipline and virtue were instilled deeply.

Beyond Business: The Philanthropist

Today, Ratan Tata is celebrated not only as the former chairman of Tata Sons but also as an unparalleled philanthropist. Having been recognised with prestigious honors like the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan, Tata’s journey has been that of immense success and generosity. Steering a trillion-dollar conglomerate is a feat in itself, but choosing to donate a significant portion of earnings to charitable causes makes Ratan Tata’s journey even more remarkable.

The trajectory of Ratan Tata's career, from crafting his first resume to helming a global empire, serves as a testament to the idea that journeys often begin with simple, unassuming steps, driven by a larger vision and unwavering values.

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