Ratan Tata it seems is banking on three close people to deal with the ongoing crisis at the Tata group most Cyrus Mistry’s ouster. According to a report in CNBC-TV 18, Ratan Tata has formed a “top team” to deal with the issue and advise him. The three people that Tata has turned to are Prasad Menon, N Srinath and S Ramadorai, the channel said. All three of them are considered to be very loyal to Ratan Tata.
While Prasad Menon was the former MD of Tata Power, N Srinath is the current MD and CEO of Tata Teleservices. The fact that N Srinath has been called on to advise Tata also assumes significance in the backdrop of the ongoing tussle with Japan’s DoCoMo. S Ramadorai recently stepped down as chairman of the National Skills Development Council (NSDC) and National Skills Development Agency (NSDA). The channel reported that Ramadorai is expected to be back at the Tata Group to advise Ratan Tata.
The Tata Sons Board appointed Ratan Tata as the interim chairman of the Tata Group, in what is possibily the biggest upheavals in the corporate history in recent times. The Board has constituted a Selection Committee to choose a new Chairman. The Committee comprises Ratan N. Tata, Venu Srinivasan, Amit Chandra, Ronen Sen and Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, as per the criteria in the Articles of Association of Tata Sons. The committee has been mandated to complete the selection process in four months.
Last week, in a sharp letter, Cyrus Mistry blamed the directors of the conglomerate of not giving him a chance to defend himself and wrongly dismissing him. Mistry has also warned that the group may face $18 billion in write downs. Mistry has blamed five unprofitable businesses that he inherited, for the possible write downs. Mistry said that as the group chairman, he tried to turn things around – be it from a Nano to an ultra-mega-power plant. Mistry has hit out at Ratan Tata, his predecessor, for interference. In an e-mail letter Mistry has lamented that Ratan Tata’s interference had increased to the extent that he (Mistry) was reduced to being a ‘lame-duck’ chairman. Mistry also blamed Ratan Tata for the ongoing problems in Indian Hotels, the company that runs the Taj chain of hotels. According to Mistry, he had recommended scrapping the Nano project, stating that emotional reasons cannot be be the sole reason for keeping a product alive.