Ratan Tata on Thursday spoke about how empathy played a huge role in overcoming challenges, how layoffs amid the pandemic was a knee-jerk reaction and the one thing he misses most as he is locked up in his residence due to the pandemic. Speaking about layoffs, Ratan Tata said that companies have a responsibility towards their employees.
Tata said that laying-off employees because the 'business was gone' was a knee-jerk reaction and added that companies have a reponsibility towards their people. He also spoke about the migrant crisis. "These are the people that have worked for you, these are the people who have served you all their careers so you send them out to live in the rain? Is that your definition of ethics when you treat your labour force that way?" said Tata in an interview to YourStory.
He added that the labour force was uprooted one fine day and told that there was no work for them. Tata emphasised that it is impossible to survive as a company if one is not sensitive. Ratan Tata underscored that coronavirus will hit people wherever they are. "COVID-19 hits you wherever you are so what you have to accept is, that whatever your reasons may be, you have to change in terms of what you consider fair or good or necessary in order to survive," he said in the interview.
Ratan Tata spoke about the importance of ethics in business. He said that every one chases profits but the question is how ethical the journey has been. Tata emphasised that business is not only about making money, adding that one has to do right by their customers and stakeholders ethically.
He added that making mistakes is part and parcel of businesses but the important thing is to do the right thing at every turn and not shy away from difficult decisions.
The industrialist said that he has been asked to not venture out since the outbreak in March. Talking about one thing he misses the most during the pandemic, Tata said, "It's not been yachts, manors, and huge estates; it's been a wonderful experience of interacting with people that stand for the same ideas as you do... that's something I've come to miss."