Celebrates 75th birthday in Pune, calls it happiest
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Ratan Tata, who retired as the chairman of the Tata Group on Friday, chose to spend his last day with workers of the Tata Motors plant in Pune. Tata, who turned 75 on Friday, had come to Pune to celebrate his birthday with 20,000-odd workers of the Pune plant on invitation from the Tata Motors Employees Union (TMEU). Incidentally, this is one of the first plants that he had visited when he took over as chairman of the group some 22 years ago. Tata, known for his passion for automotive, had been in the thick of all major developments at Tata Motors - starting from the development of the completely indigenous car, the Tata Indica, the take-over of British luxury car brands Jaguar and Land Rover and the development and launch of the cheapest car in the world, the Tata Nano.
Tata, who spent almost 5 hours at the plant with the workers arrived early at 8.30 am. "Once he came to the plant, he was driven around in an open jeep that had been decorated by the workers. The jeep was taken through all the workers bays in the plant and the chairman met everybody shaking hands, openly mingling with the workers," union president Vishnu Nevale said. "The chairman did not want any fanfare or big celebration and therefore, we chose to keep things quiet. He even refused to accept any gift from the workers and only accepted some flowers as a token," Nevale pointed out.
Tata told the workers that the Pune plant was among the first plants that he had visited when he had taken over as chairman and was, therefore, dear to his heart. The Tata philosophy has always been to value workers and it is only because of their contribution that he has been able to achieve this success in his life and take the Tata brand to the world, Tata said. "It is a rule that the chairman should retire at the age of 75 and accordingly I have stepped down," he told them. "I am sure Cyrus Mistry will take the group to bigger heights."
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