Ratan Tata, the 84-year-old business mogul, continues to inspire all of us. He stands as a living example of simplicity and humanity. The Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons is not just an industrialist and philanthropist but also a mentor and a friend to many of us.
Once again, his compassion has warmed our hearts as we stumbled on the story of Sanjiv Kaul.
In a LinkedIn post, Sanjiv recounted how an unexpected meeting with Ratan Tata on a flight landed him investment for his startup. Narrating the meeting, Sanjiv talked about his pharmaceutical company, Advinus Therapeutics, and how Ratan Tata decided to invest in his startup.
The year was 2004 and I was travelling seated 2F on an evening Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Delhi. My meeting for seeking investment for an innovative startup earlier that day with a large industrial house had not gone well and I was a bit down and out.
Sanjiv started the company along with two US scientists who returned to India for the opportunity. He was scrolling through the PowerPoint presentation trying to figure out what went wrong?
Suddenly there was a hush silence and I could sense a gentleman settling down on seat 2D next to me. I looked up and immediately recognised Mr. Tata. My heart skipped a beat conscious of this legendary figure sitting next to me. But soon I returned my focus to the failed PowerPoint.
Following the meeting, Ratan Tata noticed the discomfort of the gentlemen and asked him what was wrong. Sanjiv couldn't help but open up about his situation and said "India was about to lose top 2 scientists who wanted to create India’s first pharmaceutical R&D company."
Mr. Tata further asked him about the situation, to which Sanjiv said:
I shared with him details of Advinus Therapeutics and the 2 brilliant co-founders Rashmi Barbhaiya and Kasim Mookhtiar. I concluded by saying that I was at the end of my tether as I had exhausted all options and these 2 fine scientists were all set to return to the US over the weekend in spite of my best efforts.
Kaul stated how Mr. Tata tried to cheer him up by promising that someone from the Tata Group would call him soon. That said, Sanjiv said at 9 pm the same evening, he got a call from a general manager of Tatas.
I get a call from a general manager of Tatas whether I could come along with the 2 Advinus scientists the next day to Bombay House for a discussion with the senior leadership of Tatas.
You can read the entire post here:
Indeed, Ratan Tata, from time to time, has won our hearts for many reasons.