The Tatas: How a Family Built a Business and a Nation by Girish Kuber (Book Review 013)


The Tatas: How a Family Built a Business and a Nation by Girish Kuber, translated from the Marathi language to English by Vikrant Pande and narrated in audiobook format by Rajiv Dadia. This book is a gripping and enjoyable story of the oldest business family in modern India. Note that I had listened to this book via the Audible app on my phone.

The book is not just a history of a family but also a history of modern India. This book traces the laying of the foundations of industry in India and is an apt homage to the immense contribution of the Tatas to the growth of India. The legendary Tatas have many first to their name yet have seemed to be humble about it, as could be made out from their description in the book.

The chapters covering the charisma and strong acumen of JRD Tata were a pleasure to read and despite such a personality it is humbling to learn that JRD Tata was a workaholic and dreaded leaving his office to rest at home even during the final few years of his life.

I think that the book has skirted certain contentious issues and recent business failures of the Tatas and refrained from attributing it to the decision-makers at Tatas. The book has not commented on the gargantuan acquisition deals that have gone wrong and cost the Tata Group dearly or about the decline in popularity of Tata Iron and Steels.

In all this is an informative book for those who want to learn about the history of the Tatas and the Tata Group but don’t expect any critical commentary or opinions from the author.