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What is Ratan Tata's post-retirement plan?

Last updated on: June 3, 2011 11:46 IST

What is Ratan Tata's post-retirement plan?

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Surajeet Das Gupta in New Delhi

His retirement may still be a year away, but Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata is already working on his post-retirement plan.

Tata plans to do what he has always been passionate about -- set up a design centre of international standards and scale.

A Tata group spokesperson confirmed that one area in which Tata would work was design, but did not give details.

Sources close to the development said he was looking to set up an international centre with state-of-the-art facilities to design a wide range of products.

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Image: Ratan Tata after receiving the lifetime achievement award for management.
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
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Tata has led development of many innovative designs and products, the most celebrated being Nano.

In a recent conversation with Kent Kleinman, Dean, Architecture Art and Planning, Cornell University, Tata said one benefit of studying in the School of Architecture was that it taught him to doodle when bored.

He said board meetings were one place he would get bored.

The idea of Nano was born with his concern for safety of families travelling on two-wheelers.

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Image: Ratan Tata poses poses with a Nano.
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
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He played a key role in designing of Nano and gave many suggestions to the design company, Institute of Development in Automotive Engineering.

For instance, he was the one who suggested that Nano should have just one windscreen wiper. This kept the cost of the car down and reduced its maintenance cost.

His plan to provide people cheap and clean drinking water helped a few Pune-based designers develop a sub-Rs 1,000 water purifier, Swach.

Design Directions Private Limited took more than three years to make this 560-mm unit for purifying water.


Image: Ratan tata posing with Swach.

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Tata also steered redesigning of Jaguar Land Rover luxury models.

Under him, the Tata group built strong design capabilities, led by Tata Technologies, which contributed to Nano's designing and engineering.

The Pune-based company is a leader in providing Engineering Services Outsourcing and Product Development Information Technology services to the global manufacturing industry.

Tata Technologies and Hindustan Aeronautics, Asia's premier aerospace manufacturer, have a joint venture under which the two have merged their engineering, design and manufacturing resources and market reach to provide clients comprehensive "design through build" aerospace solutions.


Image: Ratan Tata gestures as he stands next to a Jaguar XF.
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters
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