In­dia’s Tata in race against time to save global im­age

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

MUM­BAI: In­dia’s largest con­glom­er­ate Tata faces one of the most tur­bu­lent pe­ri­ods in its long his­tory af­ter its shock de­ci­sion to sack its chair­man, an­a­lysts say, as it bat­tles to save its global rep­u­ta­tion.

Sev­enty-eight-year-old pa­tri­arch Ratan Tata dra­mat­i­cally re­turned to the helm of the fam­ily busi­ness this week af­ter he be­came up­set at the di­rec­tion Cyrus Mistry was tak­ing the sprawl­ing group.

The abrupt sack­ing on Mon­day has plunged the US$100 bil­lion (RM416 bil­lion) con­glom­er­ate into ac­ri­mony and high­lighted its di­vi­sions at a time when it faces ma­jor fi­nan­cial chal­lenges.

“Tata group is go­ing through an eco­nomic cri­sis and most of its busi­nesses are not per­form­ing well,” Mum­bai-based Equinomics Re­search & Ad­vi­sory Pvt man­ag­ing di­rec­tor G. Chokkalingam told AFP.

Tata Group’s rev­enue slipped 4.6% for the fi­nan­cial year ended March to about US$103 bil­lion. One of its worst per­form­ers is Tata Steel, which last month re­ported a quar­terly net loss of al­most 32 bil­lion ru­pees (RM1.9 bil­lion), as it winds back its Euro­pean op­er­a­tions. The com­pany an­nounced ear­lier this year that it was sell­ing its loss-mak­ing Bri­tish as­sets ow­ing to a global over­sup­ply of steel, cheap Chi­nese im­ports into Europe, high costs and cur­rency volatil­ity.

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