If anyone can bring coffee culture to tea-crazed India, it is Ratan Tata, whose Tata Group conglomerate spans industries ranging from autos to steel to telecommunications. Tata recently inked a deal with Starbucks aimed at bringing the Seattle chain to India -- the latest in a string of alliances that have helped the group grow from a loose federation of companies primarily serving their home country into a $67 billion multinational powerhouse. Joint venture partners include Lockheed Martin, AIG, and Cummins. But Tata also has acquired well-known businesses such as Jaguar Land Rover, Britain's Tetley Tea, and New York City's Pierre Hotel. It takes chutzpah to buy such storied brands. To turn them around as Tata has done takes persistence -- and power.
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