Ratan Tata, who led the transformation of the Tata group from a conventional corporate house into a $100 billion global conglomerate with high-profile acquisitions abroad, will retire tomorrow ending a 50-year run in one of India's oldest business empires.
Marking a generational change, Tata, who turns 75 tomorrow, will hand over the reins of the group to 44-year-old Cyrus Mistry, who was chosen his successor last year and formally appointed Chairman earlier this month.
Tata is hanging up his boots after steering the group for 21 years as its Chairman, when he succeeded the legendary JRD Tata. While JRD made Tata the Chairman out of the blue in 1971, Mistry of the Shapoorji Pallonji group and whose family owns 18% stake in Tata Sons, was chosen by a five-member selection committee.
During Tata's tenure, the group's revenues grew manifold, totalling $100.09 billion (around Rs475,721 crore) in 2011-12 from a turnover of a mere Rs10,000 crore in 1971.
His vision to transform the group into a multinational giant resulted in high profile acquisitions such as Tata Tea's takeover of UK brand Tetley for $450 million in 2000
But Ratan Tata set new standards for the Indian corporates in the current era of globalisation when Tata Steel acquired Anglo-Dutch rival Corus for 6.2 billion pounds beating CSN of Brazil in 2007.