The Tata group is likely to witness yet another high-profile exit, as Mukund Rajan, head of international operations of Tata Sons, may leave by the month-end, according to sources in the know.
A Tata group spokesperson said it was “speculation”, when asked about Rajan’s possible exit from the group. Insiders said a plan by private equity firm TPG Capital to bid for Tata Teleservices’ fibre business for $1 billion along with Rajan as a partner was also “off the table”.
Tata Communications was another bidder for the 125,000 route kilometre fibre optic business and a board meeting had been called this week to take a call on the final bid, said another source. “The Indian government, which owns a 26 per cent stake in Tata Communications, is not inclined to take on more debt to take over the project,” said the source requesting anonymity.
Some of the Tata Communications’ board members are also against the takeover and are likely to protest at the board meet, according to the source.
When contacted, Rajan said he was not quitting the group and would lead the TPG Capital initiative, if it bagged the fibre optic business. Otherwise, he would continue with the Tata group.
Rajan was earlier chief brand custodian and a member of group executive council set up by former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry in 2013. Soon after the Tata Sons board removed Mistry as its Chairman in October 2016, the council was disbanded and three members of the Council were asked to leave the group on the same day.
But Rajan and another group veteran Harish Bhat were retained by the Tatas to lead other initiatives. Rajan was later re-designated as head of international operations in Tata Sons by the new chairman, N Chandrasekaran, in 2017. Rajan joined the Tata group in the 1990s and worked in the office of the former Chairman Ratan Tata for many years.