Noel Tata to head group biz overseas as Tata Intl MD

Written by fe Bureaus | Mumbai | Updated: Jul 31 2010, 04:41am hrs
Noel N Tata has stepped down as managing director of Trent, the retail arm of the Tata Group, to take over as managing director of Tata International. He will cease to be the MD of Trent with effect from August 12.

This move is largely seen as part of the grooming process for Noel, who is regarded a possible candidate to step into the chairmans position at the Tata Group after Ratan Tata steps down in 2012. B Muthuraman is currently chairman of Tata International.

In a filing to the BSE, Trent said, Noel N Tata will continue to remain on the board of directors of the company as non-executive vice-chairman of the company, and consequently, continue to be involved in the overall management. The company added that a new chief executive will be appointed soon.

The overall management of the company will continue to remain in the hands of the board of directors as well as the senior management of the firm, it said in a filing to the bourses.

The 53-year old half-brother of Ratan N Tata, the current chairman of Tata Group, has till recently been involved with just Trent. But with his recent appointment as non-executive vice-chairman of Tata Investment Corporation, a listed investment firm that has a substantial holding in Tata Group companies, there is speculation that he will play a larger role in the group in future.

The 71 year-old Ratan Tata has already said he has hired consultants to look for a successor and that could even be an expatriate.

The Tata Group has over 90 companies, of which 28 are publicly listed, and has operations in over 85 countries. Tata International, with the worldwide network of 42 offices across the globe, has played a key role in developing some important international alliances for the group. It has a global reach in overseas trade and is involved in the entire value chain of the group, from supply chain integration to facilitating third country trade. It also helps set up strategic alliances or wholly-owned subsidiaries with a focus on certain geographies.