Still, the markets have usually considered Tata to be out of his depth, questioning and dismissing his big, bold moves as Ratans follies.The Indica was the first. People scoffed openly, when, in 1995, Tata spoke of building a passenger car with the Zens size, the Ambassadors internal dimensions and the price of a Maruti 800.The scepticism seemed justified as project costs escalated to Rs 1,700 crore (Rs 17 billion) and Tata Motors posted Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion) in losses the biggest splash of red in Indian balance sheet history.Even within Tatas, people kept asking me to distance myself from the project so that when it failed I wouldnt be stuck with the blame. And when I refused to do that, they distanced themselves from me, Tata said in an interview a few years ago.
Ratan proved his detractors wrong, and how. Indica went on to become Tata Motors great success story about a million units have been sold since its 1998 launch.The groups global ambitions were greeted with similar scepticism. The Corus deal would lead the group to bankruptcy, critics declared investors dumped Tata Steel shares after the announcement, and the share price plunged 11%.And Tata was driving straight to disaster with the Jaguar Land Rover deal the brands were troubled, demand was low. Tata went on to prove everyone wrong. The groups international acquisitions are doing well, some have started making money.When Tata took over, less than 5% of the groups revenues came from overseas. As the self consciousness eased, the confidence grew. And with it, the scale of ambition.