When he took over as chairman of the Tata Group in 1991, the majority perception was that the untested nephew of J R D Tata would be a pushover. Twenty-one years later, as he hands over the baton to 44-year-old Cyrus Mistry today, all that is a distant memory. Tata, 75, has led the transformation of the group to a $100-billion-plus global conglomerate. Mistry inherits a global conglomerate that is 51 times bigger than in 1991 and the group has grown at a compound annual rate of 21.7 per cent.
But Tata has set a challenging task for his successor: He wants the group to increase annual sales to more than $500 billion over next decade. True to his style, his departure from his workplace of 50 years will be low-key; in fact, Tata is on a holiday in Pune, and there will be no formal farewell.