the expectations after its initial worldwide acclaim, the small car will still be remembered as Tata's desire to provide a "safer" option to many Indian lower-middle class families riding two-wheelers.
In a recent interview to PTI, he said Singur was a "great disappointment" for him because he went there "in a leap of faith" thinking that part of the country was being ignored industrially. Tatas will still go to West Bengal someday, he said.
Under Tata, the group also made great strides when it capitalised on the sunrise industry of information technology in the 90's. With revenues of over USD 10 billion in 2011-12, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is today India's largest IT company.
For TCS to lead the pack of entirely new IT ventures in the country is significant, given the background of Tatas, a leading member of what is derisively called the 'Bombay Club'.
For all his achievements, Tata describes his half-a-century with the group modestly as "a journey of great learning".
"It was a period of learning, a period of frustrations also from time to time...I tried to uphold the values and the ethical standards that there were.
"I feel satisfied that I have done my best to do what I considered to be the right thing and that has been there throughout."
On his post-retirement plans, Tata, a bachelor, has said he will spend time on technology which is quite a passion with him. He will brush up on his piano, which he learnt as a school boy and pursue flying, apart from his focus on philanthropic activities.
It will be big shoes to step in for Mistry, who joined the Tata group in 2006 as a director. Earlier, he was leading the then over USD 2.5 billion construction giant Shapoorji Pallonji Group as Managing Director.
"Be your own man and be yourself," is the mantra Tata has passed on to Mistry. This is the same counsel he told himself when he took over from JRD.
Prior to the selection of him as Tata's successor in November 2011, he held non-executive position on boards of several other Tata companies.
Born on July 4, 1968, Cyrus