Our very first meeting with Mr. Ratan Tata was a fleeting encounter of just 5 minutes and feeling the presence of the man only heightened our ambition to meet him in person someday. Over the time our ambition only grew stronger and that made us write a card to him expressing our desire to meet him. We left our numbers at the end of the card, hoping against hope that if he finds it worth to grant us with a meeting, he might call us. We were banking on that one in a millionth chance that this might happen. In anticipation of that call, we waited for the entire day outside of his house.
As the sun was setting on that day that chance started becoming one in a billion. The day ended with us waiting there but there was no call. Obviously, we were not that disappointed as we went back.
It was around 9 pm when my phone rang and a very soft voice enquired –
“Hello, is this Aditi?” I felt rush all over my body as I recognized the voice on the other end instantly. Collecting my composure back I replied –“Yes, is this Ratan Tata?” and he answered – “Yes Aditi, I am very sorry to have made you wait outside the house, I had no idea about it, I am extremely sorry.”
I could sense my blood spurting through my veins and before I could utter a word, he asked, “Are you still around?”
After knowing that we had already left he invited me and Chetan to visit him at his house the next day. Before hanging up he apologised again for making me wait.
Naturally, my elation was shooting high for several minutes after that, it took me sometime to get back to normal before I went and told Chetan about the development.
It was 1st October around 11 am and we were waiting outside of Ratan Tata’s home, a man that we had heard so much about, a man who was so revered. When we were invited inside, surprisingly we were not excited or nervous probably because of the ambience. Much like the man who owned it, the place exhibited the similar virtues, simplicity and peacefulness.
We were in a state of bliss.
Before entering the house we had made a cautious decision of being in the present while we meet the great man. 5 minutes later, Mr Ratan Tata walked in, with a blue cotton shirt tucked in and a wide smile on his face. Before we could open our mouths, he said-
“Sorry for making you wait Aditi.”
He asked us about the purpose of our visit. We had gone there because we had always idolized him and we just wanted to let him know about what we were doing before embarking on our enterprenured journey. I guess he was expecting a presentation from us but we had with us a 15 kg weighing 3D model of our business plan. Again it was a surprise when we explained the whole business model to him without any hint of nervousness, I guess that had more to do with his calming influence and then we pondered over the thought that people aren’t wrong in the measure of the man.
After 45 minutes of conversations, we gauged our own impression on him by his questions, which were many in number regarding the importance, complexities of our plans. He seemed impressed and interested with our plans of changing the dynamics of fuel management for industries. Then he let us have an opportunity to bask in his knowledge and experience, by providing number of important and vital inputs. He did let us know that he is happy about the fact that young people like us are taking on important challenges and are trying to make a difference.
He was particularly happy about the fact that we were interested in creation of wealth rather than creating a business just to sell it off later. Without our asking for it he ensured us that TATA will help us in this endeavour of ours, we never saw that coming!
After ordering coffee for us, he gave us his contact details and sources for us to stay in touch with him.
At the conclusion of a 2 hour long meeting, he stood up and picked up our 3D business model and turned to us and said,“I will help you people keep this in your car.”
We were shocked and thrilled at the same time. Chetan ran to help him carry it till our car, my eyes had already started tearing up. Dropping us to the car he just stood there smiling and said to us,“Aditi and Chetan, I support you in this and I will see to it that how TATA can help.” We were already
We were already blown away by the simplicity of the man, now we were awestruck by his humility. Before we left we promised him that we would always conduct business with the values and humility that TATA’s have exhibited over the years.