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The man who will succeed Ratan Tata

Last updated on: November 23, 2011 20:13 IST

The man who will succeed Ratan Tata

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The Board of Directors of Tata Sons at its meeting on Wednesday appointed Cyrus P Mistry as deputy chairman.

Mistry will work with Ratan Tata over the next year and take over from him when he retires in December 2012. This is as per the unanimous recommendation of the Selection Committee.

Tata Sons had constituted a five-member committee in August last year to scout for a successor to Ratan Tata.

The committee comprised Tata Sons director R K Krishna Kumar, Tata Sons former vice-chairman N A Soonawala, Group adviser and lawyer Shirin Bharucha and influential British businessman Lord Kumar Bhattacharya.

Various candidates, including Tata's half-brother and son-in-law of Pallonji Mistry, Noel Tata and PepsiCo Chairperson Indra Nooyi were speculated to succeed Tata.

Endorsing the appointment, Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Sons, said: "The appointment of Cyrus Mistry as deputy chairman of Tata Sons is a good and far-sighted choice.

He has been on the Board of Tata Sons since August 2006 and I have been impressed with the quality and caliber of his participation, his astute observations and his humility.

He is intelligent and qualified to take on the responsibility being offered and I will be committed to working with him over the next year to give him the exposure, the involvement and the operating experience to equip him to undertake the full responsibility of the Group on my retirement."

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The man who will succeed Ratan Tata

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Mistry, currently managing director, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, is a graduate of Civil Engineering from Imperial College, London, and has a Master of Science in Management from the London Business School.

"I feel deeply honoured by this appointment. I am aware that an enormous responsibility, with a great legacy, has been entrusted to me.

I look forward to Mr Tata's guidance in the year ahead in meeting the expectations of the Group.

I take this responsibility very seriously and in keeping with the values and ethics of the Tata Group I will undertake to legally dissociate myself from the management of my family businesses to avoid any issue of conflict of interest"

The 46-year-old Cyrus Mistry is the younger son of construction magnate and one of the richest Indians, Pallonji Mistry.

The Mistry family owns about 18 per cent stake in Tata Sons and Pallonji Mistry has been board member of the company since long.

His father Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry bought 12.5 per cent from the FE Dinshaw Estate in the 1930s.

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Image: Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry.

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He joined the Shapoorji Pallonji Group in 1991 as a director.

In 2000 when the Shapoorji Pallonji Group acquired AFCONS, he became a director and in 2003 its chairman.

He has been able to metamorphosis the construction business in the Shapoorji Pallonji group to scale new heights year on year.

He was appointed to the board of Tata Sons Ltd. in 2006. He holds non-executive position on the boards of several companies.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers, UK. He is a Trustee of the NICMAR and a founder Member of the Construction Federation of India. He is a Trustee of the Breach Candy Hospital Trust, Mumbai.

He is also on the board of Imperial College India Foundation.

He is a voracious reader of business books and plays golf.

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The Tata Group comprises over 100 operating companies in seven business sectors: communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals.

The group has operations in more than 80 countries across six continents, and its companies export products and services to 85 countries.

The total revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $83.3 billion (around Rs 379,675 crore) in 2010-11, with 58 per cent of this coming from business outside India.

Tata companies employ over 425,000 people worldwide.

The Tata name has been respected in India for 140 years for its adherence to strong values and business ethics.

Every Tata company or enterprise operates independently. Each of these companies has its own board of directors and shareholders, to whom it is answerable.

There are 31 publicly listed Tata enterprises and they have a combined market capitalisation of about $77.44 billion (as on November 17, 2011), and a shareholder base of 4.3 million.

The major Tata companies are Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages, Indian Hotels, Tata Communications, Tata Teleservices and Titan.

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Photographs: Reuters
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The Mumbai-based Tata Sons is the promoter of all key Tata companies and holds the bulk of shareholding in these companies. The chairman of Tata Sons has traditionally been the chairman of the Tata Group.

About 66 per cent of the equity capital of Tata Sons is held by philanthropic trusts endowed by members of the Tata family.

The biggest of these trusts are the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Sir Ratan Tata Trust, which were created by the families of the sons of Jamsetji Tata.

Tata Sons is the owner of the Tata name and the Tata trademark, which are registered in India and several other countries.

Apart from this, Tata Sons' activities are:

  • To maintain shareholding in main operating companies.
  • To invest in operating companies to facilitate growth.
  • To promote the group's entry into new businesses.

Tata Sons has two divisions:

  • Tata Quality Management Services: Helps Tata companies achieve business excellence through the Tata Business Excellence Model
  • Tata Financial Services: In-house financial consultancy which carries out long- and short-term financial planning for Tata companies

Photographs: Reuters
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