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India

Ratan Tata, The Legacy Of India's First Global Business Titan

The patriarch of the Tata family dynasty retires Friday, his 75th birthday, after helping India reimagine its role in the world of business.

Ratan Tata, CEO of Tata Sons
Ratan Tata, CEO of Tata Sons
Patrick de Jacquelot

MUMBAI - On Friday, coinciding with his 75th birthday, Ratan Tata, the CEO of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata group, will officially retire. Although India will bid farewell to its most famous businessman, Tata has become much more than a national celebrity.

One can draw a long list of superlatives to make him stand out from his competitors: His firm is the oldest (founded in 1868), the biggest (with activities ranging from computing to hotels, automobile manufacturing to the retail industry), the most international, and also the one that has the best reputation regarding integrity and its overall contribution to Indian society. Ratan Tata has embodied all this since he rose to lead the empire in 1991.

The figure of this tall single man has become utterly familiar for every Indian. Still active although he is now in his seventies, his elegance is nonetheless of a discreet kind, to match his shy personality. This descendent of a 150-year-old industrial dinasty should not be mistaken for one of these new billionaires, the nouveaux riches who show off their staggering mansions, their yachts and their bad taste. Within the firm, people are happy that Tata does not appear in the rankings of India's biggest fortunes, as the family only owns a small part of the capital of the empire named after it.

The tributes about to flow as Ratan steps down from the head of the conglomerate are because his achievements reach so wide, and so deep. First: He has managed to build a real industrial group. When Tata was appointed head of the conglomerate, its organization was quite loose. Back then, Tata Sons owned only a small part of the firm's companies, whose bosses thought they were not accountable.

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Geopolitics

NATO Entry For Sweden And Finland? Erdogan May Not Be Bluffing

When the two Nordic countries confirmed their intention to join NATO this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his plans to block the application. Accusing Sweden and Finland of' "harboring" some of his worst enemies may not allow room for him to climb down.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO

Meike Eijsberg

-Analysis-

LONDON — When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared his opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO, it took most of the West's top diplomatic experts by surprise — with the focus squarely on how Russia would react to having two new NATO members in the neighborhood. (So far, that's been a surprise too)

But now Western oversight on Turkey's stance has morphed into a belief in some quarters that Erdogan is just bluffing, trying to get concessions from the negotiations over such a key geopolitical issue.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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To be clear, any prospective NATO member requires the consent of all 30 member states and their parliaments. So Erdogan does indeed have a card to play, which is amplified by the sense of urgency: NATO, Sweden and Finland are keen to complete the accession process with the war in Ukraine raging and the prospect of strengthening the military alliance's position around the Baltic Sea.

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