Tata Sons Board has appointed a selection committee comprising 5 members to find the next Tata Group Chairman. This moves comes after the shocking replacement of Cyrus Mistry as Tata Group Chairman. Ratan Tata will now serve as the group’s interim chairman for the next four months – the time period that the committee has been given to decide on the new chairman. Speculations are rife about the reasons for this sudden move by the Tata Sons board, and some reports suggest performance as the major parameter for replacing Mistry. The 5 member committee appointed to look for Mistry’s successor comprises Ratan Tata, Venu Srinivasan, Amit Chandra, Ronen Sen and Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya. We take a look at some facts about the people who will decide on Tata Group’s new chairman:
Ratan N Tata: Ratan N Tata was the Chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata group, from 1991 till his retirement on December 28, 2012. He was also chairman of the major Tata companies, including Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Chemicals, Indian Hotels and Tata Teleservices. During his tenure, the group’s revenues grew manifold, totalling over $100 billion in 2011-12.
Tata received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell in 1962. He worked briefly with Jones and Emmons in Los Angeles before returning to India in late 1962. He completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 1975.
Venu Srinivasan: He is the chairman of Sundaram-Clayton and TVS Motor Company and was appointed the non-executive director of Tata Sons in August this year. Venu Srinivasan, has served as the president of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) for the year 2009-10, president of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) for the period 1999-2001 and chairman of the National Safety Council, Government of India.
He was conferred with the JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award by the All India Management Association for his contribution to leadership and management and the Jamsetji Tata Lifetime Achievement award by the Indian Society for Quality in the year 2004. He has also been awarded the Padma Shri in 2010 for his contributions in the field of trade and industry. Srinivasan has an engineering degree from the College of Engineering, Chennai, and a master’s degree in management from Purdue University.
Amit Chandra: He is the managing director of Bain Capital and was appointed as a non-executive director of Tata Sons in August this year. Chandra joined Bain Capital as managing director in early 2008 and is part of the firm’s leadership team in Asia. Prior to joining Bain Capital, Mr Chandra spent most of his professional career at DSP Merrill Lynch and retired as its board member and managing director in 2007. He received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from VJTI, Bombay University, following which he worked at L&T. Chandra received his MBA from Boston College.
Chandra serves as a trustee on several Tata Trusts and is a member of the board of directors of Genpact, L&T Finance, Tata Investment Corporation, Emcure Pharmaceuticals, Akanksha Foundation and GiveIndia.
Ronen Sen: In 2015, Ronen Sen was appointed as a non-executive independent director of the Tata Sons. Sen was India’s ambassador to the US from 2004 to 2009. He has also been India’s ambassador to Mexico (1991-92), to the Russian Federation (1992-98), and the Federal Republic of Germany (1998-2002), and served as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (2002-04). From 1986 to 1991, he was foreign and defence policy advisor to successive Prime Ministers and had several assignments as special envoy of the Prime Minister for meetings with heads of state or government. Sen has also served on the board of Tata Motors as a non-executive independent director from 2010 to 2012.
Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya: He is the chairman of the Warwick Manufacturing Group and is an advisor to many companies and organisations around the world. He has advised the UK government on manufacturing, innovation and technology, including former Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. Bhattacharyya, who was the first Professor of Manufacturing in the UK, is a passionate advocate for academic engineering. He was reportedly instrumental in brokering the takeover of Jaguar Land Rover by Tata Motors.