Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group, had the uncanny ability to know when to enter a new business and, more importantly, exiting an existing one.
A look at major milestones achieved by Tata Sons under Ratan Tata as chairman:
1996: Forayed into the telecom sector with the launch of Tata Teleservices
1998: The Tata Indica, the conglomerate's first passenger car, was launched this year. The car went on to become the No. 1 brand in its segment within two years.
2000: Tata Tea, now Tata Global Beverages, acquired the Tetley Group, the world's second-largest manufacturer and distributor of tea. Tetley is the largest tea company in the UK.
2001: Tata AIG, a joint venture between the Tata Group and American International Group Inc (AIG), marks the re-entry of the Tata group into the insurance sector. The group's insurance company, New India Assurance, founded by Dorab Tata in 1919, was nationalised in 1956.
2001: Led Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) acquire CMC (the erstwhile, state-owned Computer Maintenance Corp)
2002: Led Tata Sons acquire the state-run Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL), now known as Tata Communications
2003: TCS becomes the first Indian software company to cross one billion dollars in revenue
2004: Tata Motors acquires the heavy vehicles unit of Daewoo Motors
2004: TCS went public; it raised nearly $1.2 billion
2005: Tata Steel acquires Singapore-based steel company NatSteel
2005: Tata Communications acquires Tyco Global Network, thereby becoming the world's largest providers of submarine cable bandwidth
2006: Tata Sky satellite television service launched across India
2006: Tata Chemicals acquires controlling stake in UK-based Brunner Mond Group
2006: Launches Croma, the multi-brand retail outlets for consumer electronics
2007: Tata Steel acquires Anglo-Dutch steel-maker, Corus
2007: TCS entered China, with a joint venture with the Chinese government and other partners
2008: Tata Motors unveils Tata Nano, touted as the world's cheapest car
2008: Tata Motors acquires the Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR) brands from the Ford Motors
2008: Tata Chemicals acquires General Chemical Industrial Products
2009: Tata Teleservices launches pan-India mobile service with Japan's NTT DOCOMO
2009: Tata Housing launches low-cost housing in Mumbai
2010: Tata Chemicals acquires leading UK-based vacuum salt producer British Salt
2011: Tata Nano launched internationally in Sri Lanka and Nepal
2011: Tata BP Solar became Tata Power Solar Systems
2012: Tata Global Beverages forms joint venture with Starbucks