The few moments with Ratan Tata

Yes people…you read the title right! I hope you did not fall of the chair. Yours truly was fortunate enough to be chosen to go and meet the man himself - Ratan Tata, in flesh and blood, a few days ago. The man (for the rest of the article, out of sheer respect…the man will be Mr.Ratan Tata and not yours truly) was coming all the way from Mumbai just to spend a few hours at our college with the students. He was very clear that he did not want any folks from the press. It was all for the students.

Yours truly was chosen to go and pick him up from the Chennai airport where he arrived in his private jet.( Me squealing like a little girl in excitement at the thought of a private jet) We wait about 45 minutes before the jet arrives. Drummer boy, our founder and I were waiting at the airport in the special section which was meant only for VIPs. The guys from the Taj were totally jealous that the man was coming all the way from Mumbai only to meet us, even they don’t get such quality time. Anyway, the man followed by Ramadorai and Mahalingam (TCS) arrived at 9:30. And holy god, bless my stars! It was a total honour to meet the man himself. The guy who has built one heck of an empire. And I still can’t believe I shook his hand. Dad asked me not to wash it, but we all know that its not possible. What struck me was the humbleness of this man while the others around him were all airs. He very politely greeted everyone present with no airs of a multi-billionaire that one would expect. When we handed him the bouquet, while the others chose to merely acknowledge its existence and throw them into the car instantaneously, Mr.Tata held it with him until he got into the car. It’s the little things that matter.

We leave the airport in one awesome convoy, Tata and our founder in the Mercedes infront, Drummer boy and I in the Merc behind (yes…I got to go by Merc once again)….Ramadorai and Mahalingam in the Merc behind us followed by the rest of the junta from the Taj huddled in the Tata Safari. I was a little disappointed. Why is the owner of the Jaguar car going around in a Merc? Not complaining though. While the others chose to give long winding speeches, Mr.Tata spoke for under 10 minutes and opened the floor to questions for nearly 40 minutes. This is the kind of thing most Tata employees dream about, and here we were, getting exclusive access. In your face, other college in the south with a one year MBA. Gnaaaaaaaaah!!!!!

Even while addressing the students, Mr.Tata patiently answered even the most ridiculous of questions put forth by some of our …ahem…brightest eager young minds. Speaks volumes for the man. Needless to say, I got photo time and a ‘Hello’ from the man. Will upload the pic soon.

How do you solve a problem like career?

So much love, concern and scorn