In a smooth transition of power, Cyrus Mistry took charge on Friday from Ratan Tata at the helm of the $100-billion Tata Group, as the man who was chairman until a day earlier spent a quiet day at Pune, celebrating his 75th birthday.
Mistry, known to be as media-shy as his
predecessor, brushed past a frenzied posse of journalists and photographers as he walked into the group headquarters early in the morning dressed in a trademark black suit.
The Tata Group treated the landmark event in an understated manner in keeping with the soft-spoken personalities of the incoming chief and the exiting chairman.
The 44-year-old Mistry has been groomed for the past one year under his predecessor to take up the top job at India's largest conglomerate.
Ratan Tata, who presided over the group for 21 years, did not turn up at Bombay House on Friday. People close to him said he was at Lake House, a group property in Pune, celebrating his birthday.
Tata had set a 10-year target for Mistry: an annual revenue mark of $500 billion - about five times the current level.
Cyrus Pallonji Mistry, 44, unanimously named a year ago as Tata's successor by the board of Tata Sons, the holding company, is the second chairman without the telltale Tata surname of the group that was established in 1868 by Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata as a trading company.
Mistry had joined the board of his family-run firm Shapoorji Pallonji & Company in 1991 and was appointed managing director of the company 1994. Mistry left his family business last year in November upon his appointment as Ratan Tata's successor in Tata Sons.
Ratan Tata will now be the group's chairman emeritus and is also expected to lead the trusts that control Tata Sons, the holding company of the salt-to-software group that now has a global footprint in automobiles, information technology, steel and hospitality.
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