Ratan Tata says Indian business prefers rivalry over cooperation

Indian business doyen and chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata, said on Tuesday that Indian businesses seek to pull each other down rather than cooperating on issues of mutual concern.

In his acceptance speech after receiving the MMA Amalgamations Business Leadership Award 2014 given by the Madras Management Association (MMA), Tata said in Chennai that Indian industries should be more compatible, trusting and collaborative with each other.

''Indian businesses frown on success (of other businesses),'' he told the gathering of south Indian business leaders. ''We tend to pull down each other needlessly, whereas in other countries you see businesses pulling together,'' he said.

Recalling his years in business, Tata said that it was difficult to get 20 business leaders in a room to talk about anything other than their own companies, or to take a united stand on an issue.

He said that if one does ''the right thing and operates with the right value system, then one need not feel incapable of leading any business outside India."

He said government and corporate houses have a joint task in moving the nation forward by giving equal opportunities to people.

Pointing out that both India and neighbour China have a similar population size, Tata wondered what stopped Indian companies from reaching the scale and size of Chinese companies.

He said that the government should facilitate conditions for that, like removing the differentiation between small and big business.