Ratan Tata is the "personification of honesty, integrity and inspiring leadership", is how Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan described the industrialist while conferring him with the Businessman of the Decade Award.
After giving the award on behalf of the Federation of Indo-Israeli Chambers of Commerce in Mumbai on Friday night, Sankaranarayanan praised Tata for putting the nation first and upholding ethics and trusteeship in busineses. He also said the Tata Group touched the life of every Indian in some way.
"The Tatas freshen our mornings with their tea, they bring taste to our food with their salt. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Tata Group touches the life of every Indian in one way or the other," the governor said.
Lauding the efforts of the Federation of Indo-Israel Chambers of Commerce for promoting closer business-to-business ties between India and Israel, Sankaranarayanan said relations between the two countries had witnessed a rapid growth across a broad spectrum since diplomatic ties between the two countries were established in 1992.
The governor felt that India and Israel should increase their cooperation in areas like science and technology, tourism, agriculture and water management.
After the felicitation, Tata said he was rather embarrassed to hear words of praise showered on him by speaker after speaker.
Accepting the honour, he said he foresees tremendous opportunities for cooperation between India and Israel, especially in agriculture and high technology.
The other speakers included Israeli Ambassador Mark Sofer, Israeli Consul-General in Mumbai Orna Sagiv, tennis ace Leander Paes, Archbishop of Mumbai Cardinal Oswald Gracias and federation president Gul Kripalani.