Ratan Tata today officially retired for the post of chairman of India's largest industrial house, Tata Sons. Cyrus Mistry has taken his place as his successor.
Ratan helped grow this company 13-fold in the 21 years at its helm and he is passing the legacy to Cyrus.
Ratan Tata retired at the age of 75, a rule he himself framed. He, however, will remain as chairman emeritus of Tata Sons. Cyrus Pallonji Mistry, 44, who was selected by a panel of eminent people, succeeds him.
Mistry will be the 6th Chairman of Tata Group in its 144-year history and only second who does not carry the "Tata" surname.
Ratan joined Tata Group as an apprentice in Tata Steel's Jamshedpur plant in 1962. He took over the top job in 1991, succeeding uncle JRD Tata. In the more than two decades at the helm Tata not only consolidated the group's business in domestic markets but also expanded it globally, acquiring assets, diversifying businesses and forging new linkages.
In recent years, he conceived and presented to the world the smallest car "Nano". Much before that, in 2008, the Government of India honored him with Padma Vibhushan.
As steps down as of Friday, he leaves behind for at Bombay House, , not just a $100-billion empire he but also a that earned him wide praise as an able corporate leader with values.
Tata Group's market capitalization is now nearly Rs.4.54 trillion ($825 billion), 33 times more than in 1991 when Tata took over the top job. During this period, the group's aggregate sales have increased 43 times, while net profit has grown 51 times.
Tata Group's global expansion started in the year 2000 with the acquisition of Britain's largest tea firm, Tetley, by Tata Tea, now called Tata Global Beverages.
Tata Steel also acquired Europe's second largest steel maker Corus in 2007 for $12 billion. The company is now called Tata Steel Europe.
Another big acquisition was of iconic British auto makers Jaguar and Land Rover by Tata Motors.
The Group under Tata's leadership also made serveral other acquisitions in the global and domestic markets like controlling stake in government-run Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL), purchase of heavy vehicles unit of Daewoo Motors in South Korea, acquisition of Singapore's NatSteel and purchase of New York-based The Pierre hotel.
Other people who held the position of Chairman of the Tata Group, apart from Ratan Tata, are:
Ratan Tata's departure from Tata Sons marks the end of an era in which India looked outward and its business went global.
Cyrus Mistry as the new chairman of Tata Sons will be head of:
Headquarters: Bombay House in downtown Mumbai
Operations: In more than 80 countries across 6 continents with exports to 85 countries
Areas of Business: Seven core areas - Information Systems & Communications, Engineering, Materials, Services, Energy, Chemicals and Consumer Products
Group Turnover: Rs.475, 721 crore or $100.09 billion
Market Operations: 32 companies publicly listed with a combined market capitalization of about $88.82 billion
Shareholder base: 3.8 million
Top Companies: Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Teleservices, Titan, Tata Communications and Indian Hotels
Foreign brands: Corus, Jaguar, Land Rover, Tetley, heavy vehicles unit of Daewoo Motors
Number of Employees: Over 450,000