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Tata Group gives $50 million to Harvard Business school

The Ratan Tata-led Group's donation, managed by its philanthropic units, is the the largest from an international donor in the institute's 102-year history.

twitter-logoPTI | October 15, 2010 | Updated 13:12 IST

America's prestigious Harvard Business School has received a whopping $50 million from Ratan Tata-led Tata Group, the largest gift from an international donor in the institution's 102-year history.

The $50 million gift comes just days after Anand Mahindra, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra and Mahindra, gave USD 10 million dollar as gift to the Humanities Centre at Harvard.

Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata conglomerate, attended the School's Advanced Management Programme 'one of three comprehensive leadership programmes offered by HBS Executive Education' in 1975.

He received the School's highest honour, the Alumni Achievement Award, in 1995.

The gift will fund a new academic and residential building on the HBS campus here for participants in the School's broad portfolio of Executive Education programmes.

The School hopes to break ground for the building, which will be named Tata Hall, next spring.

The School said it will use the gift to fund a new academic and residential building on its campus for participants in its broad portfolio of Executive Education programmes.

HBS hopes to break ground for the building, which will be named Tata Hall, next spring. It is expected to be open for use by late 2013.

Calling it a privilege and a pleasure to "give back to Harvard a little bit of what it gave to me," Tata said he hoped the new facility would encourage and inspire future leaders to take advantage of the executive education offerings at HBS.

"HBS is the pre-eminent place to be exposed to the world's best thinking on management and leadership and we are pleased that this gift will support the School's educational mission to mold the next generation of global business leaders," he said.

Expressing "deep appreciation" for Tata's "generosity," HBS' Indian-origin Dean Nitin Nohria said the "historic" gift comes from an organisation "revered" for its significant economic, civic and philanthropic impact.

"The Tata Group is widely respected for integrity and innovation, not just in India - where it produced both, the first indigenous car and the $2,000 Tata Nano automobile - but in a variety of business lines across several continents, from cars to hotels and from tea to information technology," Nohria said.

Harvard University President Drew Faust said Tata knows "firsthand the transformative educational opportunities" offered through the School's Executive Education programmes.

"Thanks to this generous gift, HBS will be able to expand its already robust offerings in Executive Education, deepening ties with leaders across the country and around the globe."

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who joined Tata and Nohria for the announcement on Friday, said the $50 million gift will help create jobs in the city.

HBS launched the Advanced Management Programme, the world's first Executive Education programme, in 1945.

More than 9,000 business leaders from around the world enroll in the programmes as well as in off-campus locations each year, participating in a range of comprehensive and custom programmes.

Currently, more than 50 per cent of participants are from outside the US and enroll in over 75 open enrolment Executive Education programmes and more than 60 custom programmes.

Tata earned a degree in architecture from Cornell University in 1962. He had given an endowment of $50 million to Cornell in 2008 for agriculture and nutrition programmes and for the education of Indian students at Cornell.

He was named one of the 30 most-respected CEOs in the world by Barron's magazine in 2007, the same year the Tata Group was awarded the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.

In 2008, he was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People.

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