The battle between Ratan Tata and the satraps in the Tata empire is well known.
But the way Tata won the battle, and then transformed the group into a cohesive unit from a fractured entity – where individual company heads gave a damn to an overall group vision – deserves to be a case study.
As he retires on December 28, 2012, this has clearly been one of his biggest contributions to the Tata group.
The battle Tata faced was from four people who had run their companies for decades - Russi Mody at Tata Steel, Darbari Seth at Tata Chemicals, Ajit Kerkar at Indian Hotels and Nani Palkhivala at ACC.
It was obvious all these gentlemen believed they were more deserving than him to head the group.
The attacks started in 1981 when JRD Tata stepped down as chairman from Tata Industries, naming Ratan his successor.
Though JRD continued to be group chairman, everyone knew Ratan was the chosen one - something that was unacceptable to all the four.
Image: Ratan Tata seen with then Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha in this 1998 file photo.
Image Courtesy: Tata Group