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Cyrus Mistry, one year at the Tata helm: Striving towards an all-weather company

Thursday, 26 December 2013 - 11:28am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Tata Steel, which made headlines across the world after the acquisition of Anglo-Dutch steelmaker, Corus, has been losing it sheen following huge losses in European operations post Lehman crisis and debt turmoil. Since his appointment as chairman last year of the $100billion conglomerate, Tata Sons, Cyrus Mistry’s mandate is to bring back the lost glory.

Tata Steel Europe undertook quite a few restructuring exercises in the past three years including pruning employee strength across facilities in the UK to maintain buoyancy. Its Ebitda per tonne improved to $35/tn in the first half of the current fiscal from $14/tn in 2011-12. Major cost-cutting initiatives by Mistry in the past year have started yielding results. This was also visible in the second quarter earnings. An analyst with local brokerage said Mistry’s aggressive nature, strategy to induct younger talents, ability to take calculated risks and focus on growth areas are definitely benefitting the company. Most believe that appointment of T V Narendran, as managing director of Indian operations, was one of his boldest moves.

A source close to the company said Mistry is now aiming to make Tata Steel an all-weather company so as to immunise it from the vagaries of economic and industry cycles. Tata Steel Europe is now focused on developing specialised steel products for railways, aerospace, energy and automotive to maintain its relevance in the market. The company is realigning sales and distribution centres across the continent for better service to customers.

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