Cyrus Pallonji Mistry, the 43-year old son of Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry who will take over the reins from Ratan Tata as the group’s chairman next December, will bring the right mix of expertise and continuity in tradition which are so essential to take forward the over $70-billion salt-to-software conglomerate as it tries to consolidate its position with acquisitions like Corus and Jaguar land Rover.
Analysts tracking the Tata Group said that the close links of the Pallonji family with the Tata Group will be an added advantage as the group is not exactly a family run conglomerate but has a strong sense of ethics and tradition which only somebody from within the group can best take forward in the right spirit. In a way Mistry will not face any kind of problem as Tata underwent post-1991 when he took over from JRD Tata in consolidating the group’s various businesses which till then were loosely run under the common Tata brand name. With Ratan Tata having done the consolidation exercise, the task is cut out for Mistry — he has to take the group forward at a time when consolidation in newer areas provides the biggest challenge.
Commenting on Mistry’s appointment as the successor of Ratan Tata, Harsh Mariwala, president, Ficci said, “He is young, an Indian and from the entrepreneur family. Being a visionary, he has to show results through vision, people management and execution excellence to manage the empire of Tata Group”.
“I would probably have been more worried if it had been an outsider, because the culture is so strong at Tata. This keeps the continuity,” said Andrew Holland, director at Ambit Capital. “I would think that the new chairman has the unenviable task of trying to move fast in a difficult global environment, particularly in Europe, where they have made so much investment,” he added.
Mistry is no newcomer to the Tata Group as he was appointed to the board of Tata Sons in 2006. He also holds non-executive position on boards of several other companies. At present, he is a director of Tata Sons and Tata Elxsi (India). He was also a part of the five-member selection committee set up to find Ratan Tata’s successor.
A civil engineering graduate from London’s Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Mistry also holds a masters degree in Management from the London Business School and is a fellow