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Writing about the Tatas’ would need a volume! Everybody seems to know everything about them. Everybody knows about JRD Tata, Naval Tata, Ratan Tata and all its distinguished family members. Everybody knows that they are India’s largest group…they have the largest number of companies and employ the largest number of people…they have the largest turnover… they pay large amounts of tax and they are philanthropists’ to the core.

But few know that, this much admired corporate citizen has certain values that form the principles on which the companies run. Topping the list is integrity and an absolute abhorrence for any form of corruption. Despite it being a disadvantage on every occasion, the Tatas’ will never offer any bribe to any local or central authority, even if it means the complete scrapping of any plan or project.

Here palms are never greased and every permission or license is obtained in absolute consonance with the laws. It is said that, once, in a tax dispute the Tata’s were asked to pay an amount of Rs 1.90 crores. An official of the department approached the company’s managers and promised to resolve the problem and ensure that they paid no penalties, if he was given Rs 10 lakhs in cash. The matter went to Ratan Tata and the consequence of it was explained to him. Without batting an eye lid, he instructed them to pay the tax. In an hour, a meeting of all financial heads of his companies was called and an instruction given, never, ever to come to him with such a proposal.

Then there is the other angle. Professionalism. Here professionals are respected and are allowed to experiment with new ideas. If it fails, no-one is blamed. If it succeeds, due credit is given to the person who initiated it. India’s Best has a lot of such stories waiting to be winkled out.


 

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