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The Madras Management Association conferred the 18th MMA Amalgamations Business Leadership Award to Ratan Tata, Chairman-Emeritus, Tata Sons Ltd, for his outstanding contribution to business, industry and society.

On receiving the award Ratan Tata said: “Indian business world seems to thrive in frowning on success. We tend to pull each other down needlessly. It has been extremely difficult to get 20 business leaders in a room, to move away from talking about their own companies to taking a position on India as a whole.”

“In the next 15 years I see an India where everyone has equal opportunity, where government and corporates work together to achieve growth and prosperity. I’d like to see an India where people get jobs based on merits,” said Ratan Tata.

Stressing on the need for collaboration among Indian companies Tata asked: “How many collaboration do you see among Indian companies? How many research activities do you see among business leaders? Businesses and corporates have to work side-by-side. Wherever this has ceased to happen, nations have tumbled economically, or moved to a direction of being dictators or banana republics or creating crony capitalism.”  Defining the role of the government in economic growth, he said: “The Government should create a competitive environment and not handicap industry through cesses and taxes. Government has the role of improving infrastructure and creating an environment of safety and opportunity based on meritocracy. Industry has to be entrepreneurial and it is this spirit that drives the country.”

Asking Indian entrepreneurs to move beyond the comfort of their nation and reach the global landscape, Tata said: “There is no reason to feel incapable of leading an enterprise outside India, provided you do the right thing and operate in the right value system. I think we have all the ingredients to do this.”

‘As a nation we should try to lead not to follow. Growth should be a byword in India, we should be bolder and think bigger and first create prosperity before distributing it. Moving the country ahead towards giving equal opportunity for many people, creating the prosperity levels of the people and stand out as a country in today’s world of democracies, where good survives and evil somehow is controlled,’ he said.

While presenting the award to Ratan Tata, A Krishnamoorthy, Chairman, Amalgamations Ltd quoted Maya Angelou: “The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious and the desire to reach hearts is wise. Here, we have a man, who has achieved both in equal measure.”

Speaking at the event Mallika Srinivasan, TAFE group chairperson, said: “The vision he carved out for each of the Tata businesses had three elements: technology, global scales and Tata values of fair play, professionalism and social responsibility.”

In his felicitation, R Seshasayee, Executive Vice- Chairman, Hinduja Group, quoted the famous saying of Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change, you want to see in the world” and added that it was ‘truly played’ by Tata.

A committee consisting of Naina Lal Kidwai, Country Head, HSBC Bank India; S Ramadorai, Vice Chairman, Tata Consultancy Services, R Seshasayee, and the committee head, Sunil B Mittal, Chairman and Group CEO, Bharti Enterprises Ltd, selected the awardee.

The award was instituted in 1969 in the memory of S Anantharamakrishnan, founder of Amalgamations.

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