Ratan Tata

Natalia George
Yahoo! India News

Ratan Tata began his career at the Tata empire in 1962; he initially worked on the shop floor of Tata Steel, shoveling limestone and handling the blast furnace. After 50 long successful years, Ratan Tata will step down in December 2012 handing over the reins of what is now a major multinational to Cyrus Mistry.

Ratan Tata is the great-grandson of Tata Group founder Jamshedji Tata. Among many other honours accorded him during his career, Tata received the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s most distinguished civilian awards in 2000 and Padma Vibhushan in 2008 and Lifetime Achievement Award awarded by prestigious Rockefeller Foundation in 2012. He has also been ranked as India's most powerful CEO.

In 1981, when JRD Tata stepped down as Tata Industries chairman, naming Ratan as his successor. He was heavily criticized for lacking experience in running a company of the scale of Tata Industries.

Ratan Tata proved he inherits his family’s legendary business acumen making some of Tata’s greatest acquisitions with Corus, the fifth largest steel producer in the world, and took over Jaguar Land Rover. He also pioneered the making of the world’s cheapest car the Tata Nano.