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Ratan Tata has a very revealing interview with The Times of London today. Mr Tata is about to fire 1500 people in the UK after recently taking over major British brands Jaguar and Corus Steel, amid much fanfare and general Indian chest thumping. Mr Tata didn’t mince his words:

“It’s a work ethic issue,” Mr Tata said. “In my experience, in both Corus and JLR [Jaguar Land Rover], nobody is willing to go the extra mile, nobody. I feel if you have come from Bombay to have a meeting and the meeting goes till 6pm, I would expect that you won’t, at 5 o’clock, say, ‘Sorry, I have my train to catch. I have to go home.’ Friday, from 3.30pm, you can’t find anybody in their office.”

He goes on to express his frustration with managers at the higher levels of the British manufacturing industry:

“If you are in a crisis, if it means working to midnight, you would do it. The worker in JLR seems to be willing to do that; the management is not.”

At JLR “the entire engineering group would be empty on Friday evening, and you have got delays in product introduction. That’s the thing that doesn’t happen in China or in Indonesia or in Thailand or in Singapore.”

The British reaction *not amused*:

Ian Murray, Labour MP and colleague on the committee, said: “I think the Government needs to reconsider whether he is a valuable person to have on the business council.” [Referring to the fact that Ratan Tata is an advisor to British Prime Minister David Cameron]

We recommend the story, which you can read here in full on the Times website. Also, you can read the complete interview here. In the second part, Tata worries that Britain has lost its competitive streak:

“Everybody that you talk to says, ‘Oh, we are not a manufacturing country any longer. We are a service country, and we can’t compete.’ Why can’t we compete? Why can’t we at least be more competitive than Europe? Nobody seems to be keen to do that.”

The Times calls it ‘a startling piece of reverse colonialism’. But Ratan Tata has a suggestion for Britain: it needs to get moving again:

“Britain,” he suggests, “needs a real push. It needs nationalism. The sort of spirit that comes during a war. It needs people really to want to see the UK sitting again, maybe not as a colonial power, but as an economic power.”

In the Times report today, Ratan Tata is at pains to point out that things have changed at Jaguar. Now meetings will start at 5pm and management are matching the efforts of the workers.
 
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Ian Murray, Labour MP and colleague on the committee, said: “I think the Government needs to reconsider whether he is a valuable person to have on the business council.” [Referring to the fact that Ratan Tata is an advisor to British Prime Minister David Cameron]
...........who probably also cannot be contacted after 3.30 on a Friday afternoon.:D

I'm with Tata on this one.
 

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I agree. You can't afford to have management who are clock watchers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Tata announced yesterday the loss of 1500 jobs at their Corus plants, stating that new Carbon targets will make steel making in Europe uncompetitive.
JLR were due to start assembling Land Rover products in India this month. Steel production in India is increasing.
Bound to wonder if Mr Tata continues to be concerned about British management if he would think it best to assemble Land Rovers in India and also Jaguars.
In fact, might he not also consider in stead of assembling vehicles in India, that it would be better to use the local steel and labour and build both Land Rovers and Jaguars :?:
 
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“If you are in a crisis, if it means working to midnight, you would do it. The worker in JLR seems to be willing to do that; the management is not.”
It sounds as if some of the British Magagement might get replaced with an Indian one.

It could also be a way of giving the existing management prior warning that if they don't improve their work ethic they will be replaced.
 
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We used to work 18 hours in the Victorian Factories, Mr Ratan Tata wants to think more about eradicating the crushing poverty and corruption in his own country before worrying about ours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We used to work 18 hours in the Victorian Factories, Mr Ratan Tata wants to think more about eradicating the crushing poverty and corruption in his own country before worrying about ours.
He may be doing exactly that :!: Tata Industries is a very large employer. So it could be argued that companies he is responsible for, India is not his responsibility, have contributed to eradicating poverty for very many.
 

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Ouch. I don't know if his impressions at JLR and Corus are accurate or not, but if they are, lets hope this is a wake up call to change the culture.

In general the economies of the so called West, Europe, US, Canada, Japan, need a wake up call. The emerging countries like China are working at least twice as hard as we are, and their governments (China's, S. Korea's, etc) are balls to the walls behind economic development.

China will build 10 factories, 5 refineries, 1000, miles of high-speed rail, and employ another 100,000 ppl in the time it takes us to do the "environmental red-tape studies" to build a supermarket.

I'm not a great admirer of Mr. Tata, but I like him ring this wake up bell. Hopefully some will listen. Rates right up there with Bebe N. schooling Obama yesterday.
 

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And I am not a great admirer of Bebe N.
Please don't let us get on to that topic. Not good for my blood pressure :) .
 
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