'Total waste of time': Ratan Tata recalls his first internship experience at Tata Motors

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 21, 2020, 11.53 PM(IST)

Ratan Tata is locked in a bitter boardroom battle with Cyrus Mistry for control of the Tata Group. Photograph:( Getty )

Story highlights

He said he was shuffled from department to department without anybody telling him what to do.

While most people would agree an internship with Tata Motors is a good experience for people interested in working in the industry, the company's former chairman thinks otherwise.

Ratan Tata in an interview with Humans of Bombay (HOB), recalled his first internship experience at Tata Motors and describes it as "a total waste of time". 

×

He said he was shuffled from department to department without anybody telling him what to do.

"It was a waste of time, I was moved from one department to another and was looked at as a family member, so no one told me what to do, but I spent six months trying to be useful," he said in a three-part interview to the Human of Bombay.
 
"It was only after I moved to Tata Steel that I got specific work and my job got interesting," Ratan said, adding, "I started from the floor and really understood the plight of those working there." 

He further talked about the criticism his predecessor, JRD Tata, faced after he appointed Ratan Tata as the chairman of Tata Sons in 1991.

"The criticism was personal, JRD got clubbed with nepotism and I, as the wrong choice. I was under scrutiny, but the time I spent on the floor served as a big plus!" he said.

"All in all, it was a big move. I remember after I was appointed Chairman, I walked with JRD to his office, where he told his secretary that he had to move out. I said, no, J, don't move out, this is your office for as long as you want." 

"JRD said, 'Where will you sit?' I said, 'Where I'm sitting today, I have an office down the hall and that's fine,'" said Ratan Tata.

"I was lucky to have him there. He was my greatest mentor and the years that he was alive," Ratan Tata concluded in the interview.

Humans of Bombay conducted a three-part interview with Ratan Tata. In the first, Ratan Tata had talked about his time in Los Angeles, when he fell in love and "almost got married".