Ratan Tata ends 50-year tenure, Mistry takes over

Business icon writes farewell letter to staff

Ratan Tata ends 50-year tenure, Mistry takes over

The country’s oldest, largest, and the best-known business house, the Tata Group, witnessed a leadership transition on Friday as Ratan Tata stepped down as the group chairman after presiding over its rapid expansion and transformation for 21 years.

Tata, who turned 75 on Friday, served the group in various capacities for 50 years since joining it in 1962. Cyrus Mistry, who joined the group in 2006, succeeds Tata as the group chairman. The 44-year-old Mistry, who was named as Tata’s successor in November, 2011, was formally appointed the chairman of the Tata Group earlier this month. Mistry is from the Shapoorji Pallonji group, which is the largest individual shareholder in the group holding company, Tata Sons, with an 18 per cent equity stake.

Tata steered the group as chairman for 21 years after he succeeded his uncle J R D Tata in 1991. During his tenure, the group’s revenue grew manifold, from around Rs 10,000 crore in 1991 to around Rs 4,75,721 crore ($100.09 billion) during 2011-12. During this period, he aggressively pushed forward the group’s expansion globally with acquisitions and mergers, and expanded the companies reach to new businesses in India and abroad.

From the group’s estimated market capitalisation of around Rs 7,943 crore in 1991, under Tata’s leadership it grew to 4.62 lakh crore last year.

Ratan Tata’s vision to transform the group into a global giant led to acquisition of 55 companies, including Anglo-Dutch steel major Corus, British luxury vehicle maker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and UK’s Tetley. Now, overseas revenue of the group stands at $ 58 billion. At the same time, within the country Ratan came up with the idea of producing the world's cheapest car when he conceived the ‘Rs 1 lakh People’s Car, Nano.  

However, on his last day in the leadership position, Tata kept away from the Bombay House headquarters of the group.

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