Ratan Naval Tata, KBE, is an Indian businessman of the Tata Group, a Mumbai-based conglomerate. He was the chairman of the group from 1991 to 2012.
Ratan Tata retires today:
End of an era: Ratan Tata, who turns 75, will hang his boots on Friday after steering the Tata Group for 21 years as its Chairman.
Ratan Tata, who led the transformation of the Tata Group from a conventional corporate house into a $100 billion global conglomerate with high-profile acquisitions abroad, will retire on Friday, ending a 50-year run in one of India’s oldest business empires.
Marking a generational change, Mr. Tata, who turns 75 on December 28, will hand over the reins of the group to 44-year-old Cyrus Mistry.
Mr. Tata is hanging up his boots after steering the group for 21 years as its Chairman, when he succeeded the legendary JRD Tata. While JRD made Mr. Tata the Chairman out of the blue in 1991, Mr. Mistry of the Shapoorji Pallonji group and whose family owns 18 per cent stake in Tata Sons, was chosen by a five-member selection committee.
During Mr. Tata’s tenure, the group’s revenues grew manifold, totalling $100.09 billion (around Rs.475,721 crore) in 2011-12 from a turnover of a mere Rs.10,000 crore in 1991.
On his post-retirement plans, Mr. Tata, a bachelor, has said he will spend time on technology which is quite a passion with him. He will brush up on his piano, which he learnt as a school boy and pursue flying, apart from his focus on philanthropic activities.
It will be big shoes to step in for Mr. Mistry, who joined the Tata group in 2006 as a director. Earlier, he was leading the then over $2.5 billion construction giant Shapoorji Pallonji Group as Managing Director.
“Be your own man and be yourself,” is the mantra Mr. Tata has passed on to Mr. Mistry. This is the same counsel he told himself when he took over from JRD.