Story Of The Week

Ratan Tata: The Strategist

Although the title of the story may make you wonder how does Ratan Tata features on the story of the
week for The Economics Club!!But there is a reason to it; a man who needs no introduction, the name
which has registered its presence in almost every industry ranging from salt to airline is quietly
becoming part of an emerging economy- The economy of E-Commerce. E-commerce and Mobile
shopping are quietly intruding lives of million people and are becoming one of main parameters of
judging an economy.
Post his retirement from Tata sons, Ratan Tata is working with his firm RNT Associates. The firm set up
with the objective of undertaking consultancy in the field of international collaboration, mergers &
acquisitions and acquiring technology, is behind Tata’s recent investments in e-commerce newsmakers,
Snapdeal, Bluestone, UrbanLadder and CarDekho. And to add another feather to the cap, he has made
an investment of undisclosed amount in Chinese phone maker – Xiaomi. Having picked an undisclosed
amount of equity in Xiaomi, the world’s fifth largest smartphone maker becomes the sixth investment in
the digital economy space for 76-year-old Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons
It does not requires a newton mind to identify what is common between all these investments. All the
above mentioned brands are products on digital economy. They are growing day by day, product by
product and it takes the eye of experienced campaigner like Ratan Tata to identify that these are the
future of economies around the globe. E- commerce and its mobile version, M- commerce are slowly
taking the role of one of the pillars of Economy. It is not amateurish to say at this point of time that that
future is not far when E-commerce will stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Agriculture or
services or Manufacturing. Even though these ventures are not churning out profit numbers but it is
quite understandable why so. These ventures are in customer acquisition mode right now, once they are
able to acquire enough customer base, their progress chart will be better once their sales grow and they
will compete with traditional sectors like agriculture, services etc and will be major contributors towards
GDP growth.
No doubt, Ratan Tata has taken lead and invested proactively in these new age ventures but he is not
alone, Wipro Chairman Azim Premji invested in homegrown online retailer Myntra and Snapdeal
through his family office, PremjiInvest. N R Narayana Murthy, chairman emeritus of Infosys, also
invested in global giant Amazon through his private investment firm, Catamaran Ventures. With
investments like these, one can only estimate the amount of strategic intent these individuals bring on
the table and this intent leads to precise implementation .If things remain this way, sooner or later the
ways of doing business will change.

References:
1. http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/ratan-tata-now-invests-in-urbanladdercom-
third-such-after-snapdeal-bluestone-114111401156_1.html
2. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/hardware/ratan-tata-invests-in-chinese-phonemaker-
xiaomi-size-of-investment-not-disclosed/articleshow/47057613.cms

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