Tata is the adoptive great-grandson of Tata group founder Jamshedji Tata. His father, Naval Tata, had been adopted from the family of a distant relative by Jamshedji's childless younger son, also named Ratan Tata, and his wife Navajbai. Tata's parents (Naval and his first wife Sooni) separated in the mid-1940s when Ratan was seven and his younger brother Jimmy was five years old. Both he and his brother were raised by their grandmother Lady Navajbai.Many years later, Naval Tata took a second wife, Simone, and fathered another son, Noel Tata.
Ratan Tata retired from all executive responsibility in the Tata group on 28 December 2012 which is also his 75th birthday and he is succeeded by Cyrus Mistry.
Ratan Tata with father Jamshedji Tata, brother Dorabji Tata and R D Tata(father of J R D Tata).
A young Ratan Tata with father and mother Hirabai. Brother Dorabji could also be seen in the picture.
Tata began his career in the Tata group in 1962; he initially worked on the shop floor of Tata Steel, shovelling limestone and handling the blast furnace. In 1991, J. R. D. Tata stepped down as Tata Industries chairman, naming Ratan as his successor. He was heavily criticized for lacking experience in running a company of the scale of Tata Industries.