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50 People Who Matter 2011 | 28. Ratan Tata

Metal head.

Ratan Tata, born in Mumbai in 1937 and educated in the US, embodies India's emergence as an international powerhouse. The acquisition in 2007 of the British steel manufacturer Corus by the Tata Group for £6.7bn confirmed Tata's standing. By 2010-2011, the group's revenues had reached an astonishing $83.6bn. Tata has no children, so when he retires in December 2012 at the age of 75, the group will be faced with settling his succession. He has said that his successor need not be an Indian, a sign that his is truly a global business.

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This article first appeared in the 26 September 2011 issue of the New Statesman, The fifty people who matter