Ratan Tata to retire, Cyrus Mistry to take over

Ratan Tata and Cyrus MistryTata Group chief Ratan Tata who led group's transformation from a conventional corporate house into a $100 billion global conglomerate with high-profile acquisitions abroad, will retire today marking the end of a 50-year illustrious tenure as the head of one of India's oldest business empires.

Tata, who turns 75 today, would hand over the reins of the group to 44-year-old Cyrus Mistry, who was chosen his successor in 2011 and formally appointed chairman earlier in December.

Tata steered the group for 21 years as its chairman. He became chairman at the instance of the legendry JRD Tata when he retired in 1991. Mistry of the Shapoorji Pallonji group was chosen by a five-member selection committee.

At the time Ratan Tata took over in 1991 the group just had a revenue of about Rs14,000 crore, which today stands at Rs4,75,000 crore. Ratan Tata, born Ratan Naval Tata in December 1937, is the adopted great-grandson of Tata group founder Jamshedji Tata.

Ratan Tata was the force behind high profile, global acquisitions like Tetly, the Anglo-Dutch steel maker Corus and Jaguar-Rover. The acquisitions formed part of his visionary effort to transform the group into a multinational giant.

Cyrus Mistry is known to keep a low profile and has an eye on detail, qualities which are thought to be key to steering the group further down the course set by his predecessor, according to industry experts.