As part of its succession plan, Tata Trusts, a cluster of charitable organisations controlling 66 per cent of Tata Sons, has appointed trustees Vijay Singh, former defence secretary, and Venu Srinivasan, chairman of TVS Group, vice chairmen of the various trusts under its ambit.
The trustees met on Wednesday and unanimously decided to appoint Singh and Srinivasan vice chairmen of the trusts, according to a statement issued by the organisation.
Former defence secretary Vijay SinghIt is learnt that sometime in early 2019, Tata Trusts, chaired by Ratan Tata, will make fresh inductions to strengthen the philanthropic cluster that virtually owns the $103-billion salt-to-software conglomerate. Recently, there were changes at Tata Trusts including the exit of Amit Chandra.
V R Mehta, trustee, Tata Trusts, said the move was part of a succession plan, should a need arise. If an emergency situation arises, succession should be clearly defined, said Mehta, adding this is good governance.
The announcement comes ahead of Ratan Tata’s 80th birthday on December 28.
Both Singh (70) and Srinivasan (66) are trustees of the Tata Trusts. A Tata loyalist, Singh was inducted as a trustee of Sir Dorabjee Tata Trust and Ratan Tata Trust, after his retirement from the Tata Sons board earlier this year. Srinivasan, a director on the board of Tata Sons, is the chairman of Sundaram-Clayton and TVS Motor Co.
According to Tata Sons' Articles of Association, the holding company can have as many as 12 directors and Tata Trusts can nominate one-third of the directors on the company’s board. While Tata Trusts trustees can induct a new trustee through a consensus process, Tata Sons board inductions require board approval.
Tata Trusts was established in 1919, but the activities took off in a big way when Sir Dorabji Tata set up a trust in 1932. Over the years, the significance of the Trusts has grown in terms of its commercial interest in the Tata group and the power it holds, even as charity remains its core area, according to an official. Because it sits over a big business empire, Tata Trusts is different from any other trust of a corporate group, he added.