Cyrus Mistry often visits Pune where the family’s Shapoorji Pallonji Group owns a mansion at Koregaon Park called the White House for its tall white columns and impressive white façade. In fact, the newly appointed deputy chairman of Tata Sons, chosen to succeed Ratan Tata in December next year, was in Pune last weekend, probably when the decision to make him Tata Group chairman was taking final shape.
According to staff at Mistry House, it was only on Sunday that Cyrus Mistry and his family left for Mumbai after spending the weekend in Pune. The Mistrys visit Pune twice or thrice a year.
Ma Sadhana of the Osho Commune next to the bungalow, says, “We hardly see any activity in the house. They probably come here once or twice a year but we rarely get to know when.”
That’s not surprising, as Cyrus Mistry is known to have inherited his father Pallonji S Mistry’s reclusive ways. Among his few friends in the city is Prakash Chhabria, managing director of Finolex Industries, a close friend. He says he is extremely happy and excited to hear about the new role Cyrus has been chosen for. “He is the perfect candidate. Cyrus is very balanced and down-to-earth.” “It’s heartening to see big companies giving the younger generation a chance,” says Chhabria, who is 43. “He is very hardworking. Work is his biggest passion,” adds Chhabria.
Ajay Shirke, president of the Maharashtra Cricket Association, says he has known Cyrus Mistry for many years. “We have family ties. For the past few years, we have been interacting often as Shapoorji Pallonji Group is building a stadium for us off the Pune-Mumbai Expressway. The stadium is expected to be completed in December,” says Shirke.
Adar Poonawalla, executive director of Serum Group of Industries and son of Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, Group chairman, has known Mistry for several years now. Poonawalla’s sprawling mansion in Salisbury Park was built by Shapoorji Pallonji.
“They made this place 11 years ago. Many of our office buildings have also been made by them, “ says Adar and adds he had been interacting with Mistry for several years now