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Last Updated : Feb 14, 2019 12:27 PM IST | Source:

Meet Noel Tata, the latest joinee on Tata Trusts board

With Noel's induction, all three Tata brothers are now on the board of the Trusts, which commands a 66 percent stake in the $100 billion Tata conglomerate's holding company -- Tata Sons.

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Chairman of Trent and Managing Director of Tata International Noel Tata is the latest joinee on Tata Trust board. It has been long speculated that the charitable organisation has been looking to bring him on board and groom him to succeed Ratan Tata as Chairman of the Tata Trusts.

Noel is the last of the Tata brothers to be inducted on the Tata Trusts board -- his half-brothers Ratan Tata and Jimmy Tata are already on it. Tata Trusts holds a 66 percent stake in the $100 billion Tata conglomerate's holding company, Tata Sons.

Noel's entry coincides with the exit of Tata Trust Managing Director R Venkataramanan, who has been overseeing the Trusts' operations for the last five years.

Read: R Venkataramanan to exit as managing trustee of Tata Trusts

Noel Tata (62) has extensive experience in various fields including marketing, administration and investments.

The Chairman of Trent, who graduated from the University of Sussex, and attended the International Executive Programme at INSEAD business school in France, began his career at Tata International.

Over the years, he has served at top posts in the industry such as the Chief Executive Officer at Trent, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Trent Hypermarket Private, Non-Executive Chairman at Voltas, as well as Non-Executive Non-Independent Director of Titan.

 The media-shy Noel earned his reputation largely by developing Trent's department store, Westside, from one-store operation in 1998 to a chain of successful stores. Under Tata's direction, Westside gained the confidence of the middle and upper-middle classes, which made up 25 percent of India's population by providing affordable clothing, housewares, toys, and  cosmetics.

Owing to his wide areas of expertise and a good managerial record, Noel's name was in the top list of contenders for the Chairman of Tata Sons post. In 2011, Noel's brother-in-law Cyrus Mistry was named Chairman of Tata Sons and he was removed from the position in 2016. At that time too, Noel's name surfaced as a top contender for the post. The company's search committee, however, picked N Chandrasekaran, then Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) CEO as Chairman of Tata Sons.

His entry into the Trusts would now be the most prominent role he has been cast in.

Listen: Podcast | The business of family — The Tatas

While Noel Tata has been a top contender for the corner office job in Bombay House, it is widely believed that the relationship between him and Ratan Tata has been cold.

Despite his role as a group director, his interactions with Ratan Tata have been limited. However, media reports suggest that in the recent past their equations have changed. "At the Tata leadership summit last July, Noel and Ratan Tata went back home together in the same car," a Tata executive told The Times of India.

Noel Tata is married to Aloo Mistry, the daughter of Pallonji Mistry, who is the largest single shareholder in Tata Sons.

Noel had backed Ratan Tata in the battle against Cyrus Mistry, former group chairman and his brother-in-law.
First Published on Feb 14, 2019 12:27 pm
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