India Auto Industry & Leaders


To inform a larger review of individuals who return to India to lead successful ventures by identifying leaders who returned to the country to support India's automotive industry, including those who helped the Tata Group become a global conglomerate and produce the world's cheapest car. In parallel, to assess the future of the automotive industry.

Early Findings

Tata Leadership

  • According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the son of Tata Group's founder, Sir Dorab Tata, was the first chair of the Tata Group to facilitate the company's expansion into a global conglomerate.
  • Specifically, Sir Doraba Tata "quickly diversified" the company's presence beyond India's hotel industry to include a wide array of new sectors, such as steel, electricity, education, consumer goods and aviation.
  • Almost a decade after Sir Doraba Tata's death, the company's fourth chair, Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata (JRD), continued this expansion of the Tata Group into new industries, including into sectors such as chemicals, technology, cosmetics, marketing, engineering, manufacturing, tea and software services.
  • Notably, it was during JRD's tenure that the Tata Group established the Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company (TELCO), which was later renamed Tata Motors.
  • Additionally, this fourth company chairman is credited with growing the Tata Group into an internationally recognized business enterprise.
  • Similarly, JRD's nephew, Ratan Tata, further globalized the Tata Group's business interests after succeeding his uncle as the conglomerate's fifth chair.
  • Key developments under Ratan Tata include Tata's acquisitions of London-based Tetley Tea and South Korea-based Daewoo Motors, as well as the Tata Group's partnership with AIG to form Tata-AIG.
  • Additionally, the Tata Group entered the automotive industry under Ratan Tata, and officially launched the Nano, which is still widely referred to by credible media outlets (e.g. TIME Magazine) as the "world's cheapest car."

Proposed next steps:

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Given that the first hour of research identified the leaders who helped the Tata Group become a global conglomerate and produce the world's cheapest car, we recommend proceeding by identifying an additional 2-3 leaders within India's automotive industry. Specifically, the research team will provide 2-3 senior-level leaders/company executives within automotive companies in the country who previously left India and later returned to the country to serve in these auto industry positions. For each individual identified, the research team will provide the person's name, a brief 2-3 sentence summary of his/her career (including when he/she left India and the circumstances of his/her return to the country), the position within which the individual showed the greatest leadership in India's auto industry and a brief 2-3 sentence summary of the associated impact on the specific auto company as well as the larger auto industry within India.
In parallel, we recommend research to assess the future of the automotive industry. This research will focus specifically on India's automotive industry, unless otherwise specified. Specifically, the research team will provide the current size and growth rate of India's automotive market (1 request), 2-3 trends in India's automotive industry (1 request) and a SWOT analysis of India's automotive market (1 request). For the trends request, the research team will identify the trend, describe why it was selected as a trend, detail what the trend entails and highlight 1-2 companies that are demonstrating the trend. In parallel, for the SWOT analysis, the research team will provide the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats currently facing India's automotive industry.