Tata group will invest more than Rs45,000 crore on various businesses over next two years and would look to expand its presence in global markets besides in India, the group's new chief Cyrus P Mistry on Wednesday said.
In his first message as Chairman of Tata Sons Ltd, the holding company of over $100-billion salt-to-software conglomerate, Mistry also said the 'core of the Tata group' will remain unchanged despite change in its leadership and asked the group companies to play leadership roles in their respective businesses.
Mistry, 44, has taken over as head of Tata group from Ratan Tata, who retired on December 28 after spending nearly 50 years with the group including 21 years as chairman.
In a message to employees, Mistry said the group has evolved into a global conglomerate with an "incredible" size of over $100 billion under Ratan Tata's leadership.
"Handing over of the responsibility of Chairmanship brings with it the winds of change, but the core of the Tata Group must and will remain unchanged," the new chief said.
"... without this core DNA that is uniquely Tata, there is nothing to differentiate us from our peers," Mistry said.
Noting that the group has invested over Rs50,000 crore in the past three years across various businesses while creating over 85,000 jobs, Mistry said plans have been put in place "for additional investments in excess of Rs45,000 crore over the following two years."
The group's headcount was nearly 4.56 lakh at the end of fiscal year 2011-12.
"Apart from India, we will be required to work to both deepen and widen our global engagement with an emphasis on emerging markets in Asia, Africa and parts of Latin America, adding to our existing presence in Europe and America," he said.
Mistry also expressed confidence in the Indian growth story and said the government's recent emphasis on policy clarity and renewed thrust to economic reforms is encouraging.
"With a sustained focus on policy stability and implementation, I believe that India would continue to be an attractive investment destination. I look forward to our Group playing its role in continuing to invest in the Indian growth story," he said.
About global expansion of the group, Mistry said each of its companies would follow a different path "with differing approaches to spreading of risk, acquisition of technology, access to talent, and investment in long-term growth markets."
He also warned against any complacency, saying that history has shown that groups "that are happy with resting on their laurels are weeded out by nimble competition".
"We live in increasingly competitive times. To succeed in such an environment, we will need to differentiate our approach and innovate," Mistry said.
"... across our businesses, we need to be able to respond swiftly and adapt to changes in market conditions anywhere in the globe. We must differentiate ourselves from our competitors through a greater understanding of customer needs and a culture built around customer centricity, innovation, and a focus on profitable growth.
"We will need to be relentless in our pursuit of improving our competitiveness and in addressing the small issues that are often overlooked but end up making a significant difference in the value proposition of our products and services," he said.
Tata group comprises of over 100 companies in businesses including technology, communications, engineering, energy, consumer products and chemicals. It has operations in more than 80 countries across six continents.
Its total revenue stood at USD 100.09 billion (around Rs475,721 crore) in 2011-12 with 58% of this coming from businesses abroad.