The Tata group comprises over 100 operating companies in seven business sectors: communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals. The group has operations in more than 80 countries across six continents, and its companies export products and services to 85 countries. The Tata name has been respected in India for more than 140 years for its adherence to strong values and business ethics.
Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, Tata’s early years were inspired by the spirit of nationalism. It pioneered several industries of national importance in India: steel, power, hospitality and airlines. In more recent times, its pioneering spirit has been showcased by companies such as TCS, India’s first software company, and Tata Motors, which made India’s first indigenously developed car, the Indica, in 1998 and recently unveiled the world’s lowest-cost car, the Tata Nano.
Tata companies have always believed in returning wealth to the society they serve. Two-thirds of the equity of Tata Sons, the Tata promoter holding company, is held by philanthropic trusts that have created national institutions for science and technology, medical research, social studies and the performing arts. The trusts also provide aid and assistance to non-government organisations working in the areas of education, healthcare and livelihoods. Tata companies also extend social welfare activities to communities around their industrial units. Going forward, Tata is focusing on new technologies and innovation to drive its business in India and internationally. The Nano car is one example, as is the Eka supercomputer (developed by another Tata company), which in 2008 was ranked the world’s fourth fastest. Anchored in India and wedded to traditional values and strong ethics, Tata companies are building multinational businesses that will achieve growth through excellence and innovation, while balancing the interests of shareholders, employees and civil society.
The Tata Code of Conduct represents the values and core principles that guide the conduct of every Tata business. The Code lays down the ethical standards that Tata colleagues need to observe in their professional lives. First crafted in 1998 under the visionary leadership of Mr. Ratan Tata, it defines a value system which has endured since the group was founded in 1868.
The Code is a living document. While it has remained unaltered in its essence, it has been amended over the years to stay aligned with changing cultural and regulatory norms across the multiple jurisdictions in which we conduct our business.
In keeping with global best practices and regulatory changes in key markets in which we operate, the Code has undergone a significant refresh this year. It explicitly references our group’s values, and linked with our group’s mission to improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally through long-term stakeholder value creation, it clarifies the duties and responsibilities of Tata companies and colleagues in relation to these stakeholder groups.
The Code is intended to be a contemporary and relevant guide for our times. It cannot, however, provide an answer to all possible questions or ethical dilemmas that may arise at the workplace. Tata colleagues who feel uncertain about the appropriate professional conduct in any situation must seek guidance from the designated persons in their company, including the company’s ethics counsellors, and utilise appropriate channels or platforms identified in the Code.
Our success and the enormous equity enjoyed by the Tata brand owe in large measure to the integrity and professional commitment of our colleagues and our companies. Consequently, we must not only comply with the laws and regulations that govern our business, but strive to go beyond and set an example of business conduct that meets the highest ethical standards.
Each Tata colleague has the ability to make a vital difference to the quality of life of the communities we serve. This Code represents our individual and mutual commitment to discharge our responsibilities through the most sustainable and ethical means, and our shared determination to reinforce the Tata reputation of Leadership with Trust.
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