Throwback: Ratan Tata Was Offered A Job at IBM But He Didn’t Have A Resume

Ratan Tata (3)

Ratan Tata, the chairman of Tata Sons Emeritus and one of the biggest and most respected business tycoons in India, didn’t initially join the Tata Company after completing his education leaving JRD Tata angry. He instead secured a job in IBM.

Ratan Tata spent his early years in the school Campion and followed by Cathedral and John Connon where he finished high school. Post completing his schooling in Bombay, Tata sailed to the United States to study at Cornell University. Tata is believed to have fell in love with the country and its state of mind. Tata has mentioned repeatedly that the time he spent studying architecture and structural engineering in Cornell has been a huge influence in his life. He stayed in America from 1955 to 1962. During these years, Tata extensively traveled to America so much so that he was ready to settle in Los Angeles.


Ratan Tata (2)
Courtesy: The Hindu

However, a sudden turn of events put a pause on his plans. His grandmother, Lady Navajbai’s health deteriorated that forced him to return to Bombay. In an interview to CNN in 2011, he confessed that,

“I was in Los Angeles and very happily so. And that was where I was when I left before I should have left.”

He didn’t have a resume

When he returned to India, he didn’t immediately start working for the Tata group although that was expected. Tata was offered a job at IBM and JRD Tata wasn’t amused at this. Tata once recalled,

“He called me one day and said you can’t be here in India and working for IBM. I was in the IBM office and I remember he asked for a resume, which I didn’t have. The office had electric typewriters so I sat one evening and typed out a resume on their typewriter and gave it to him.”

That is how Tata was offered a job at the Tata Industries that was owned by his father. The next six months, Tata spent training at the Jamshedpur plant of Tata Engineering and Locomotive that is now called Tata Motors.


In the year 1969, Ratan Tata was the company’s resident representative in Australia and by the year 1970, he joined the Tata Consultancy Services. In one year, he was named as the director-in-charge of Nelco, National Radio, and Electronics. He finally joined the board of directors of the Tata group in 1980.

Source: ET Now News