Who is the greatest ever entrepreneur in the world history? Ben Franklin, Henry Ford, John Rockfeller, Andrew Carnegie, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison? It is very difficult to choose one from so many and the choice would largely depend on what you mean by an entrepreneur. However, for most people, I believe, the criteria would be the passion to achieve goals, the courage to tread into an uncharted territory and a commitment to make this world better.
It is fascinating to read the biographies of some of the names mentioned here. Their lives, their struggles, their achievements are all awe-inspiring.
And who would you name as the greatest entrepreneur of India? J N Tata, Verghese Kurien, Dhirubhai Ambani, K C Mahindra, JRD Tata, Bhai Mohan Singh, Ardeshir Godrej or G D Birla? I can’t predict whom you would choose as the greatest of them all because it would largely depend on your perspective and the qualities you seek in the greatest Indian entrepreneur.
For the people of Jamshedpur, however, the choice is clear. They would name J N Tata as the greatest ever Indian entrepreneur. And they would certainly have their own reasons for that.
Personally, I feel that J N Tata deserves to be honored as the greatest ever Indian entrepreneur for three reasons. One, he was the greatest dreamer of all. Two, he had a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve. Three, the impact of his ideas and thoughts on future generations have been far-reaching. There are other reasons too, but even these three are enough to make him a clear winner.
J N Tata’s vision has flourished with time. Tata is a name that is respected not only in this country, but in the entire world. Not only because of the huge turnover that the group has achieved with time. But also for the way it conducts business. And if it is a household name in the country today, a large part of the credit should go to the man who had the foresight to say – “In a free enterprise, the community is not just another stakeholder in business but is in fact the very purpose of its existence.”
Today, this statement has turned into a mission statement for Tata Group. And I personally believe that this mission statement is what has brought success and respect to all Tata enterprises and it is this mission that separates Tata enterprises from all other Indian enterprises.
There have been so many great doers, visionaries and entrepreneurs in our country. However, no one has had such profound impact on everyone’s life in this country as perhaps J N Tata had. And who knows this better than the people living in a city named after him?
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