Tata Sons chairman Ratan Tata on Friday dismissed suggestions from shareholders that he continue at the helm of the conglomerate for another term.
Responding to a shareholder’s suggestion at the annual general meeting of Tata Consultancy Services to emulate Mahindra and Mahindra Group chairman Keshub Mahindra and extend his term as chairman, Tata said, “I am not Mr Mahindra. Please let me enjoy my life as I want to.”Keshub Mahindra was last year given a three-year extension, at the age of 86.
Though he did not give any hint as to who would succeed him, Tata said, “Life has to go on, nobody is there forever.”
Tata, now 73, has announced his decision to step down in December 2012. The group has already formed a committee to find a suitable successor.
Tata Group had in April 2011, revised the retirement age of all non-executive directors from 75 years earlier to 70 years. However, those who have already crossed 70 will retire when they turn 75.
Before that in 2005, the group had raised the retirement age for non-executive directors to 75, and that allowed Tata, then 68, to continue for five more years.
Tata’s half-brother Noel, who heads Tata Internationa, is widely tipped to take over when Ratan Tata steps down, and an announcement is expected in the near future.
Meanwhile, Tata said at the TCS AGM that the company is planning new offices in Pune, Ahmedabad and Bhubaneshwar.
Its focus in the current fiscal will be on Latin America, eastern Europe and Asia, while continuing growth in western Europe and the US, he said. In terms of sectors, the focus remains on BFSI, retail and cloud.