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India's Ratan Tata knighted

2014-05-06 08:17

BRITAIN HONOURS TATA: Then Tata company chairman, Ratan Tata, announces the new Nano at the 2008 Auto Expo in New Delhi, India. He received an honorary knighthood in recognition of the automaker’s heavy British investments Image: AFP

NEW DELHI, India - Indian tycoon Ratan Tata has received an honorary knighthood from the British queen in recognition of his company's British investments and philanthropy.

The British High Commission said in a statement that Tata, who retired in 2012 as head of the giant tea-to-cars-to-steel Tata group, was awarded the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire, one of Britain's highest civilian honours.

The High Commission added: "Tata is the only Indian national to be given this particular award since India became a republic in 1950."

TAKING OVER BRITISH AUTOMAKERS

Under Ratan Tata (76-years-old), the group bought Britain's Corus Group, a steelmaker, for R119-billion in 2007 as the Mumbai-based business house spread its global wings.

In 2008 the conglomerate bought British luxury automakers Jaguar and Land Rover for R24-billion as it vaulted into the premium global car market from smaller Indian beginnings with Tata Motors.

Tata has become Britain's largest manufacturing employer.

Ratan Tata, 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.

The High Commissioner added: "His leadership, vision and integrity will remain the gold standard for generations of aspirational British and Indian businesspeople."

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