New Delhi: Calling for a culture of openness and pooling of resources across companies, Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry has asked firms of the conglomerate to focus on innovation and remain agile to succeed in an uncertain and volatile environment.
In an year-end letter to employees, Mistry, who has completed a year at the helm of the group, said that after realising the distinctiveness of every Tata enterprise, "each needs to be viewed in a manner that is appreciative of its uniqueness".
Exhorting the employees to carry forward the legacy of the group's founder Jamsetji Tata, whose 175th birth anniversary is being commemorated, Mistry said the year gone by has witnessed a business environment that has continued to be volatile and uncertain.
"This is a time for us to re-look at some of our strategies, recalibrate our business models, fine-tune our execution capabilities and invest in our future," he said.
Stagnant or sluggish economic growth across some of the group's key markets such as India and Europe impacted the performance of several Tata companies, he added.
"To succeed in an uncertain and volatile environment, it is critical that our businesses evaluate alternate scenarios of the future while crafting our strategies. Our organisations will need to embrace agility, powered by teams with the aptitude and capability for continual learning," Mistry said.
Spelling out key factors to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive world, he said: "We shall put innovation capability at the core of each of our companies' operating structures and will invest in R&D and grow top talent."
Calling for more synergy among the over 100 operating companies of the group, Mistry said: "As a group, we must also continue to seek opportunities for our companies to pool resources to co-create shared value. There is so much that collaboration between our companies can offer, be it in areas like innovation, management of technology, or identifying the emerging needs and wants of consumers."
Highlighting factors that will influence on how successful the group will be in achieving its goals, he said: "Principal among these will be our ability to foster a culture of openness across the Tata group, and develop a performance oriented framework that values each colleague's contribution as well as cultural fit with the group. This requires significant investment in people development and in encouraging diversity in the workplace."
Asking the employees of the Tata group to play their part in the betterment of the society, Mistry said: "With over half a million employees, the Tata group today constitutes a global force not only for doing good business, but being in the business of doing good for society, and I am absolutely confident we will deliver on our core purpose of long-term stakeholder value creation."
Through the commitment of Tata employees over the past 140 years to improving the quality of life of the communities the group serves, the Tata brand has acquired a unique sheen, he added.
"All of us have a responsibility to protect and enhance this brand through the ethical conduct of business and by adhering to the unique value system instilled by our Founder, sustained for over half a century by Mr JRD Tata, and fortified by Mr Ratan N Tata in recent years," Mistry said.
Quoting words of anti-apartheid champion late Nelson Mandela, Mistry said: "...Let me quote a giant of a human being, one who left this world a far better place than he found it. 'Do not judge me by my successes; judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again'. There is a lesson in these words of Nelson Mandela, and by taking them to heart we can build on the unique platform that our Founder and those who followed him created."
The Tata group companies employ over 5,40,000 people worldwide with operations in more than 100 countries across six continents, and its firms exporting products and services to 150 countries.
In 2012-13, the total revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was USD 96.79 billion (around Rs 527,047 crore) with 62.7 percent coming from business outside India.