UK confers top honour on Tata

May 06, 2014 - 7:06:02 am
British High Commissioner James Bevan (left) presents the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) on behalf of The Queen to Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, in New Delhi yesterday.

NEW DELHI: Indian tycoon Ratan Tata has received an honorary knighthood from Britain in recognition of his company’s heavy British investments and philanthropy, an embassy statement said yesterday.

Tata, who retired in 2012 as head of the giant tea-to-steel Tata group, was awarded the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire.

The award is one of Britain’s highest civilian honours, the British High Commission (embassy) said in a statement.

“Tata is the only Indian national to be given this particular award since India became a republic in 1950,” the High Commission added.

Under Ratan Tata, 76, the group bought Britain’s Corus Group, a steelmaker, for $11.3bn in 2007 as the Mumbai-based business house spread its global wings.

A year later, the conglomerate bought British luxury icons Jaguar and Land Rover for $2.3bn as it vaulted into the premium global car market.

Tata has become Britain’s largest manufacturing employer.

Ratan Tata, who is now Tata Group chairman emeritus and one of India’s most respected businessmen, was presented the award by British High Commissioner to India, Sir James Bevan, on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.

The High Commission said the award was conferred on Ratan Tata in recognition of the group’s British investments and philanthropy.

Ratan Tata’s “leadership, vision and integrity will remain the gold standard for generations of aspirational British and Indian business people”, the High Commissioner said.AFP