New Delhi: Ratan Tata, who has been at helm of Tata Group for two decades, has said the legacy of a true leader is to have made a difference and improved the quality of the life of people whom the person served.
    
His comments come at a time when the Tata Group is looking for his successor, both from within and outside the group. A panel has also been formed to find a successor for its Chairman Ratan Tata, who is to retire in December, 2012.
    
"The legacy a true leader would like to leave behind would be to leave behind a legacy of that he made a difference that he improved the quality of life of the people whom he served and that there was nothing that he did which was in a manner speaking for himself," Tata said on Sunday.
    
He was speaking after receiving the Swiss Ambassador's Award for Exceptional Leadership here.     

According to Tata, whatever he has been able to do at Tata Group has not been done alone, but with help of people around him.
    
"I owe it to my colleagues, CEOs of companies, people, who made whatever happened at Tata Group happen... But it is they who have made the group what it is. I have travelled the same journey as my ancestors did and did what I thought was the right thing at the right moment whenever it happened," he said.
    
Striking a philosophical note, Tata said the world and businesses are striving for short-term goals and recognitions.     

"But life is made up of long-term issues... We are unfortunately being also driven by analysts and financial community to short-term performance, which I think is at the cost of long-term issues," he noted.
    
Tata stressed that he has a great desire for India to be a country of equal opportunity, where every single Indian has the same opportunity and does not make a difference of what caste or creed that person belongs to.
    
"Are we there today? We are not, (we are) miles away from it. What do we need to do to get there. We need to have commitment and we need to have time...," Tata pointed out.
    
"... So, I do believe that life has an aggregate of long-term views and we are often don't bother with that. We are driven by short-term achievements," he said.
    
Praising Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs, who passed away earlier this month, Tata said that Jobs changed the lives of millions of people by doing what he believed was right.
    
Swiss Ambassador to India Philippe Welti, among others, was also present at the event.

(Agencies)