Over the past decades, on many occasions I have written directly to you
when the occasion so warranted. This is one such occasion, since by the
time you receive this letter my decision to retire as the non-executive
Chairman of your Company will be a matter of public knowledge, as
required by law.
It has been an incredible journey for me. As a Director of your Company
for 64 years, of which 48 years were as your Chairman, I have had the
honour and good fortune of witnessing your Company march in step with
the Nation through the early years of Independence, the following
socialist years and finally the rewarding decades of liberalisation
and globalisation. Over the years, your Company has successfully
embraced the economic and technological winds of change and brought
about their fusion with the needs of Society. This has been done by
harnessing the expanding horizons of human intelligence and creativity
in the context of globalization, which has taught us to blend the
culture of our country and its people with those prevailing in distant
lands. This transformed your Company from being just a Corporate
entity, to a societal institution with a soul and the vision to create
a life with greater potential.
The performance of the Company has been phenomenal over the last
decade. I have no intention of burdening you with figures, you are
familiar with them. On reflection, the one thing that is clear is that
the wondrous rise and the outstanding achievements would not have been
possible without your understanding, encouragement and continuing
support. It has given your Company stability, sense of direction and a
shared vision of the future.
We believe in building relationships through trust and faith, in a
manner which is totally transparent. Our ethics and codes of behaviour
are not negotiable, we respect the rights and dignity of the human
being and believe in every individual''s limitless ability to excel.
These are values which have endured since the Company was founded.
At the Board meeting your Directors accepted my wish to retire at the
end of our next Annual General Meeting, which is scheduled to be held
on 8th August, 2012. They have elected Anand Mahindra, presently your
Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, to succeed me as Chairman.
I urge you to support him as lavishly as you have supported me over the
years. I am confident that he will lead from the front, bringing in
fresh ideas and new horizons while cherishing and preserving the
reputation, integrity and values on which your Company has been built.
These values and traits are likely to prove invaluable in steering the
Company through the challenging economic conditions that lie ahead. The
global macro environment is currently rife with risks: the probability
of a major crisis in the euro zone is high and rising, economic
recovery in the US is faltering, China is slowing and, given
geopolitical tensions surrounding Iran, oil markets remain in a state
of flux. In India, meanwhile, weak domestic macros - high inflation,
large fiscal and current account deficits - and partisan coalition
politics continue to constrain policy actions critical to supporting
growth in this challenged global economic environment. The Company''s
management team, led by Anand, will need to continue to be vigilant to
successfully weather the rough economic terrain that lies ahead. I have
the fullest confidence in their ability to do so.
I am deeply moved by the sentiments expressed by the Board and the
Management in requesting me to accept the position of Chairman
Emeritus, which I do with humility.
It has been a privilege and an honour to work with you. It only remains
for me to thank you for all the confidence, support and trust that I
have received from you and to wish you and your families good health
and happiness in the years to come.