Amid suggestions aplenty, including from a former Tata group veteran to choose someone from within the Tata family to head the conglomerate, incumbent Chairman Ratan Tata on Monday said only the best would succeed him.
"The (search) committee will pick the best person. Let's get this issue off the table and put faith in them (the panel). The best person will succeed me," Ratan Tata told shareholders at the Annual General Meeting of Tata Steel.
Russi Mody, who was once considered a contender to head the Tata group before Ratan Tata took charge, had through a newspaper column earlier this week opined that the USD 71 billion group was best headed by someone with a Tata name and that someone from the outside did not sound right.
Tata, 72, who is due to retire in December 2012, has been maintaining that his successor need not necessarily be a parsi or have Tata name.
Tata Sons had on August 4 announced that it was setting up a five-member panel to search for Ratan Tata's successor. Tata himself is not part of the panel.