Ratan Tata retires, gives reins of Tata Group to Cyrus Mistry

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 28, 2012 12:51 hrs

Ratan Tata, 75, retired gracefully as the chairman of the Tata Group, and handed over its management to Cyrus Mistry on Friday.

Mistry, 44, was designated as the next chairman of one of India's largest business group's in November 2011.

Mistry is a member of the Tata family by marriage and his father-construction magnate Pallonji Mistry, is the largest single holder of shares in Tata Sons (18 percent), the group's holding company.

Under Ratan Tata's leadership of over 20 years, Tata sales grew from five billion dollars to 83 billion dollars, and now, almost two thirds of its revenue comes from overseas.

In a sign of improvement, Tata Steel, which was a loss-making entity last year, and Tata Motors, which made a profit last year of 569 million dollars, this week reported profits of about two billion dollars apiece for the year just ended in March. TCS posted a profit of 1.9 billion dollars.

The top 10 listed companies in the group generated 62.5 billion dollars in revenue in fiscal 2010, earning 2.1 billion dollars in profit. That means the other 88 firms generated only 7.5 percent of the group's total revenue and collectively posted a loss.

The Tata Group was founded as a textile business in 1868 by Ratan's great-grandfather Jamsetji Tata, a member of the close-knit Parsi community-Persian Zoroastrians who fled to India around the 10th century. His older son expanded into steel, insurance and the production of soaps and cooking oil.

Jamsetji's nephew took over for a brief period, after which the baton went to J R D Tata, who led the group for 53 years. He founded mainstay companies Tata Motors and Tata Consultancy Services, the biggest contributor to the group's profit.

Unmarried and living a relatively frugal life with his dogs, Ratan Tata has closely guarded the group's reputation for high ethical standards in a country rife with corruption. (ANI)

More from Sify: