Tatas may face Rs. 1.18 lakh cr. write-down, warns Mistry

Tatas may face Rs. 1.18 lakh cr. write-down, warns Mistry: Former Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry has said that losses caused by what he called ‘legacy hotspots’ in the Tata group could result in a write-down of Rs.1.18 lakh crore, over time. In a letter to...

Defenseless Mistry
This refers to Lalatendu Mishra’s report “Tatas may face Rs 1.18 lakh cr. write-down, warns Mistry” (The Hindu, October 27). It  is intriguing that the Tata Sons Chairman  waited   to be thrown  out  to come out with so much of facts and figures to prove that the Group  was  not  anywhere  near a turnaround even after years of his stewardship.
 To say it differently,  by  conceding  that he couldn’t  lead the company successfully and by supporting his statement with facts and figures, in a way, he is seeking explanation from the board, how and why he was retained at the helm so long!
Tatas  have  a 150 year history behind and perhaps stands alone as the single private sector group which  strived to protect public interest and participated in India’s economic growth through thick and thin, working on trust principles. The opening paragraph of the Group’s profile on the website explains the Tata approach to business. It inter alia says: 'To improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust'.
If there is one real reason for the unceremonious exit of Cyrus Mistry on October 24, 2016, it is unlikely that anyone outside Tatas may come to know of it. Probably, it may be the culmination of several events during the last few years affecting the fortunes of Tata Group, for which Mistry might not be the only person responsible. But, those outside need to concede to Ratan Tata, the right to  correct, through legally acceptable
means,  if a succession plan he implemented after considerable contemplation has gone wrong, in his own assessment.
People who thought Tatas can be broken into manageable pieces by using methods like
leaving the institutions topless or with weak CEOs (similar to those successfully tried in PSUs like UTI and HMT), will, hopefully, be proved wrong here.

M G Warrier,


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