Tata Group is a conglomerate of 98 companies operating in more than 85 countries over 6 continents in 7 different sectors: information systems and communications, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals .
Nowadays, Tata is India’s biggest private sector group in terms of both market capitalization, which amounted to $ 59,64 billion in 2007, and revenue, which reached $28,8 billion for 2007. Currently Tata group employs around 290 000 people around the world.
The group was founded by Jamsetji Tata with the aim of nation building. And the current chairman of the group, Ratan Tata, is rigorously following the vision of his predecessor. The group’s mission is to improve the living conditions of the Indian population by raising a multitude of initiatives. As Jamsetji Tata said once `the community is not just another stakeholder in business, but it is in fact the very purpose of its existence´. Therefore, from its very beginning, TATA family has adopted 5 core values: integrity, understanding, excellence, unity and responsibility. And nowadays Tata is a great example of a big company bringing large profits and aiming and acting in line with its main goal to improve the society it operates in.
Through its long history Tata has initiated various labour welfare laws, such as the establishment of Welfare Department, which was introduced in 1917 and enforced by law in 1948, or Maternity Benefit, which was introduced in 1928 and enforced by law in 1946.
Moreover, the Group has established various organizations and institutions which focus on scientific, educational and health development and prosperity of India. Concerning research and education it has financed and promoted the Indian Institute of Science, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, as well as numerous the concession and scholarships. In the area of health care, it set up the Tata Memorial Hospital for cancer treatment (1996) and it is rigorously fighting against HIV/AIDS through various programs. In terms of environmental issues Tata runs a water management policy and ecotechnology center.
Due to the complexity that the variety of these activities implies, Tata group has a special division which coordinates social activities throughout all its group companies.
Tata became a golden standard for CSR and is considered one of the leaders in social investment around the world. As any other business oriented on growth and development, Tata is expanding the markets for existing products and continues to explore new markets that are constantly emerging in India and around the world. In term of sustaining its image as a social investment leader, Tata is facing a great challenge. As the company grows larger, it is harder to control, coordinate and align its activities and there is greater incentive for managers to deviate from the assigned path in order to ‘improve’ the financial performance of the group. However, up until now the group seem to have been able to handle such issues successfully.
One of the areas in which Tata might improve is in the products it produces. For example, one of the biggest Tata’s businesses is car industry. Despite the fact that TataMotors has launched a small, low emission ‘car for people’, Nano, it is producing jeeps and large trucks (and also defense vehicles ) whose emissions, though within in the standards, are still high. And transportation emission is a rapidly growing problem in heavily-populated and developing India where more and more people can afford driving cars. It is understandable that TataMotors is trying to offer the whole range of products and satisfy demands of various clients. However, there is a large space for public transportation development and improvement programs which Tata can launch and/or support.