Tata Group planning major investment: chairman


Fri, Jan 04, 2013 - Page 15

India’s tea-to-software conglomerate the Tata Group plans to invest more than US$8 billion over the next two years, its newly appointed chairman Cyrus Mistry said in an internal e-mail to staff on Wednesday.

Mistry did not elaborate on the investment plans in the e-mail, his first communication to employees after taking over as head of the US$100 billion business empire from Ratan Tata.

“Handing over of the responsibility of chairmanship brings with it the winds of change, but the core of the Tata Group must and will remain unchanged,” Mistry said in the e-mail.

“We have already put in place plans for additional investments in excess of 450 billion rupees [US$8 billion] over the following two years,” he said.

Mistry said the country’s Congress party-led government’s “recent emphasis on policy clarity and a renewed thrust to economic reforms” was encouraging.

Mistry, 44, said the group plans to expand its presence in emerging markets in Asia, Africa and parts of Latin America — a strategy already being pursued by group firms Tata Motors and IT services, consulting and business solutions organization Tata Consultancy Services.

During Ratan Tata’s time at the helm, the organization went on a global purchasing spree, acquiring major names ranging from Tetley Tea to Jaguar Land Rover and the Anglo-Dutch steel firm Corus Group PLC in 2007 for US$13.7 billion.

Mistry — chosen as Tata’s successor in November 2011 — is the son of Irish citizen Pallonji Mistry, whose construction firm Shapoorji Pallonji is the biggest shareholder of the group’s main holding company Tata Sons Ltd.

Tata, now “chairman emeritus” with the group, plans to remain head of the charitable trusts that own two-thirds of Tata Sons.