#TataStories: 40 Timeless Tales to Inspire You

At the second edition of SPECTRA (a reputation management conference) I witnessed an interesting session with Harish Bhat, the Brand Custodian at Tata Sons. After hearing him speak on his latest book, it intrigued me to read and review it. I must say, I am not disappointed at all. Bhat was instrumental in conceptualising and publishing this book on the ‘153 year old legacy company’ – Tata Group during the pandemic.  You may agree that a 40 chapter book will not justify the transformative journey of this legendry conglomerate but the 40 stories told in the book take you to a fascinating journey of different eras and leaders.  #TataStories is a fascinating read.

A ‘story book’ (that’s how Bhat identifies it as) is for one and all. I can offer my 14-year-old to read this or my mother who is 75. This will be enjoyed by a seasoned professional or someone who is just stepping into making a career. The inspirational stories will guide each one in whatever stage they are in, doing complete justice to the sub-title – ‘Timeless Tales’

What does the book cover?

As the name suggests, the book contains 40 short interesting and memorable tales of the Tata Group. Stories about the founding fathers, the management, the employees etc. Unheard of anecdotes of people and places that helped build this legacy brand.  It is indeed a book on nation building and about human spirits. Real life stories of individuals who contributed to the growth of the organisation and our nation. Each chapter offers thought provoking learnings.

Like I had captured in my previous review (What’s your Story?) Harish has ticked all boxes of story-telling. The real life stories are communicated innovatively with relevant images and data. Crisp editing to ensure that the audiences’ interest is maintained along with keeping the story memorable. The author has adapted to newer formats of promoting the book, the tales were published (nuggets) on Bhat’s LinkedIn page to generate curiosity and engagement. A must have strategy for all book launches to attract or cater to the new generation of audience – A Simple and effective headline, visually impactful to the audience, include data to make it believable, avoid the jargon trap, humanise the content.

Three key takeaways for me

  • Maintain the emotional connect in any story that you want to tell. I enjoyed every aspect of this key element
  • Know your brand, tell stories of your brand, their reason of existence (the future generations may need it)
  • Keep the narrative simple yet powerful. The impact comes from the story not from jargons one may use

What’s in it for me?

The book is a quick read. I managed to read it in between work breaks, while having my cup of tea in the morning and over the weekends and also a few stories were savoured while on a flight to take a short break. It is an absolute delight to read stories of an organisation that played a crucial role in shaping the future of India.

My recommendation

One of my better reads on storytelling in recent times. Read it, gift it or keep it on your shelf. A simple, authentic and inspirational book we must all possess.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarika Chavan
Sarika Chavan is a public relations professional with over 15 years of work experience.

Sarika has previously had stints with with Weber Shandwick as Vice President - Client Experience, Adfactors PR, Text100 (now Archetype) and Perfect Relations. With keen observation and analytical skills, Sarika has successfully led PR campaigns for key brands across multiple sectors by leveraging her strength and expertise in the communications arena.

She is a post graduate in communications from Xavier Institute of Communications. She is based in Mumbai and in her free time loves to spend time with her daughters, play with her dogs, read and travel.

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