Taking the Tata Group to the next level an onerous task for Cyrus Mistry.
To say that the appointment of 43-year-old Cyrus Mistry as deputy chairman of the Tata group, to succeed Mr Ratan Tata when he retires in December 2012, was startling, would be a colossal understatement. But it was a fitting finale to a novel process that began with panache and created much expectation, bewilderment and enthusiasm as it was something not tried before in the private sector, especially in a high-profile group like the Tatas. It is not known how many people were interviewed, or how the process actually worked, but the committee did meet 18 times and during this process decided that Mr Mistry could be one of the front-runners. That Mr Mistry was finally selected and accepted by Mr Tata is now history. Age was definitely in his favour, apart from the fact that his family — Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry — is the largest single shareholder in this behemoth group.
The challenge before Mr Mistry is awesome. He may have been a director in a number of Tata companies, but to deal with an over-Rs 4-lakh crore group with nearly 100 companies in 80 countries across six continents requires tremendous managerial acumen apart from a personality that will take everyone along. Most of all, he would be dealing with listed companies. The Shapoorji group has just two listed companies that are nothing to write home about. Mr Mistry has the advantage of working under Mr Tata and learning the ropes for a year. That should be a great education.
Deccan Chronicle, November 25