And Ratan Tata Retires


Who Is Cyrus Mistry?

Its his 75th birthday today and also the last day as the chairman of Tata Industries. Ratan Tata has officially handed over his responsibilities to Cyrus Mistry, who had been serving as the deputy chairman of the industry.

But what can’t be forgotten is that this company has been on a long journey with him as the captain of the ship.

It was due to his efforts that the group had an increase in profits from 10 billion dollars in 1991 to about 83 billion dollars in 2011, with acquisitions like Tetley Tea, Land Rover and the Anglo-Dutch steel firm Corus. Not to mention that Tata Motors has become India’s top automobile makers thanks to Ratan Tata.

With his retirement today, he is leaving behind him, a 100 billion dollar empire, a conglomerate of 100 companies and of course a standard to live up to.

But who is going to be holding the reins now?

Cyrus Mistry.

For those of you who don’t know, here’s a little history to understand what we’re looking at here.

Since its formulation in 1912, Tata Sons Limited has had a total of five chairmen. These were, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, Sir Dorab Tata, Sir Nowroji Saklatwala, JRD Tata and Ratan Tata. So, as is obvious, only one of these esteemed ring leaders did not hold the prestigious Tata tag.

Now, let’s jump to the present scenario.

All the candidates who were considered for this post (the one who would succeed Mr. Ratan Tata) were people who have been associated with the industry in a major way: Noel, chairman of Trent Ltd. and also half-brother to Ratan Tata; NR Narayana Murthy, Founder, Infosys, and Indra Nooyi, CEO, Pepsico.

So where exactly did Mistry come from?

Mistry has an 18.4 percent stake in Tata Sons and has also been a director at Tata Sons since 2006. He is aware of the working process of the company and is also related to the family by marriage (his sister is married to Noel).

So, logically, this was seen as a better option than appointing a new person in the position.

Calling the shots for such a big empire is a herculean task, and Mistry was being prepared for what lay ahead by Ratan Tata himself.

Training aside, Tata had just one message for Mistry, “If you want my inputs, I will give it to you but be your own man and be yourself; just be driven by the fact that each of your acts and the moves you make has to stand the test of public scrutiny. If it stands the test, do it… if it doesn’t, don’t do it.”

So we just have to wait and watch what comes of this.

Will Mistry take the Tata Empire to greater heights or lead it to its doom?

Shraddha Jandial

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