New Delhi: Cyrus Mistry, the next chief of the sprawling Tata empire, will have the responsibility of setting the pace and ensuring overall business continuity amid global economic headwinds, feel experts.
At the same time, they feel that the one-year period under the guidance of iconic Ratan Tata would provide 43-year-old Mistry with an opportunity to closely understand the intricacies of running a salt-to-software conglomerate of this size and stature.
Mistry would take over the reins of the USD 83-billion group from Ratan Tata as Chairman of Tata Sons in about a year's time in December 2012, and has been made the Deputy Chairman till that time.
The Chairman of Tata Sons Ltd, the main holding company of various Tata group of companies, has traditionally been regarded as the Chairman of the overall group and Ratan Tata has been holding this position since 1991.
Stressing that no major changes are expected immediately with the new appointment, Indian School of Business (ISB) faculty Kavil Ramachandran said that any change would only happen gradually at the conglomerate.
"Since Mistry does not have the experience of managing a conglomerate like the Tatas, he might not be adventurous enough to venture into newer areas," he said.
Mystry has been announced as the successor to Ratan Tata, who steps down in December 2012, after a search process that continued for more than a year.
"Immediately, he will have the task of understanding the Tata Group more as well as make himself acceptable to group companies and command respect," he noted.
Ramachandran is the Thomas Schmidheiny Chair Professor of Family Business and Wealth Management, Clinical Professor at ISB.
The focus would be on continuity and the one year period, before he takes over, would be crucial for Mistry in understanding the dynamics of Tata Group more closely, some other experts feel.
"Change will certainly happen. Mistry's role would be to preserve the fabric of success in the group and push the envelope around growth," global human resource major Hay Group India's Mohinish Sinha, who is Director & Leadership and Talent Practice Leader said.
According to him, Mistry's task is cut out and he has to drive the pace for the group.
"Ratan Tata has done tremendous good for the group. He has a strong legacy and Mistry will have to continue with that legacy," global HR firm Manpower Group India Head (Marketing) Namr Kishore said.
First Published: Sunday, November 27, 2011, 14:22