Cyrus Mistry asks Tata brass to innovate


Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry has had a tough 2015-16. The salt-to-software conglomerate battled suppressed commodity prices, excessive forex volatility and uncertain global political environment, which pulled down its revenues to $103 billion last fiscal. In 2014-15, the group’s revenues were $108 billion.In an internal leadership meet in the city, the 48-year-old Mistry asked group companies’ CEOs to look for pioneering innovations to boost profitable and sustainable growth. Emphasizing that pioneering has always been a core aspect to the group’s approach, Mistry, the media-shy successor to Ratan Tata, encouraged leaders to take on challenges and to develop innovative solutions using customer insights. Mistry’s vision is to make Tata products available to a quarter of the world’s population by 2025.The diversified enterprise has been building an innovation pipeline for the future. In 2015, it filed more than 2,000 patents across diverse areas such as computation and data processing, communications, materials, coatings and castings, engines and hybrid fuels in India and international jurisdictions. The annual leadership conclave, which was started by Ratan Tata, is a forum where the group chairman shares about the conglomerate’s performance and the future plan of action.Within the assortment of companies, Mistry said that 16 of them registered a turnover of over $500 million with 10 registering a billion plus in revenues. The new entrants to the billion-dollar club include watch-to-jewellery maker Titan. Even though the group’s turnover in dollar value declined nearly 5%, its revenues in rupee terms rose 2% to Rs 672,408 crore last fiscal. The group clocked $70 billion in revenues from overseas which constituted 69% of the total revenue. Some of the group’s overseas units such as Tata Steel Europe and Taj hotels financials have been impacted amid global glut and weak demand.The group invested $9 billion across sectors globally in fiscal 2016, taking the total investments, under Mistry’s chairmanship, to $28 billion over the last three years. A substantial part of the capital was invested in growth-oriented projects, including a new steel plant in Kalinganagar, Odisha.The group closed fiscal 2016 with a market capitalisation of its 29 listed companies at Rs 771,191 crore ($116 billion), down 7.4% compared to the year-ago period.

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