Trent, the retail arm of Tata group is accredited with bringing the first foreign direct investment in the retail sector to India. British retailer, Tesco, the world’s third largest retailer has applied to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board to buy 50% stake in Trent Hypermarket Limited that operates the supermarket chain, Star Bazaar.
Even though this deal has Noel Tata, vice-chairman of Trent written all over it, Cyrus Mistry’s focus on the overall retail business can’t be ruled out. Sources familiar to the development said going ahead, the key sectors that Mistry is planning to focus on includes retail and FMCG.
And Mistry has already started the process. The one-year old heir of the Tata group of companies has also been focusing on strengthening old businesses by focusing on new areas. People in the know explain that in his term at Tata Global Beverages, which is mainly a tea and coffee company, efforts are being made to ensure that the company emerges as an overall beverage company. With this in mind, the company is also focusing on the water category.
But overall, the retail segment has been struggling for a year now and so Titan’s sales have been depressed. However, this is not limited to Titan. Most of the companies in the retail sector have been struggling as a result of weak consumer demand and slow discretionary spending. Going ahead, the key things to watch out in the retail space would be to see how the Tata-Tesco deal shapes up and the other changes that Mistry will introduce with his now renewed focus on the retail sector.