The USD 100 billion house of the Tatas is perceived as India’s best known global brands not only within the country but also overseas, according to an ASSOCHAM Perception Survey of top CEOs.
A broad view emerging from the survey conducted among 78 top CEOs and heads of companies spread over major cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta, Bangalore, Hyderabad, London, Singapore and New York was that the group head Mr Ratan Tata occupies the well-deserved iconic status, who has taken the group from largely an Indian family-owned business house into a professionally managed global conglomerate. The group has interests in steel, automobile, telecommunication, information technology, chemicals, beverages and hospitality, among other areas.
About 77 per cent of those who participated in the survey, conducted in the first fortnight of December, said they are confident that Mr Tata’s successor Mr Cyrus Mistry will be able to steer the group well.
Infosys Technologies, Wipro, Mahindra and Mahindra and Aditya Birla Group were the other major Indian corporate house brands, listed to have made their mark on the global business landscape, the survey pointed out.
However, the brand Tata stood out among all the top Indian corporates, perceived as the truly international brand, it said.
However, the biggest challenge for Mr Mistry would be to ensure that the Tata companies are able to sail through the global slowdown, since the group operates in some 80 countries, several of which are in the grip of difficult times.
While the change of guard at the Bombay House, the headquarters of the Tatas later this month is on the corporate calendar, it would go down as a landmark occasion, among the most watched events for several years.
Emergence of TCS as India’s number one software export company with a turnover of USD 10 billion, launch of the Nano car in 2009, takeover of Anglo-Dutch company Corus,(renamed as Tata Steel Europe), acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover from Fort Motor Company in 2008 and acquisition of the Tetley brand by Tata Tea (renamed as Tata Global Beverages) have gone down as the major milestones for the group, the survey respondents said in their e-mail responses. The Rs 4.51 trillion group gets about 58 per cent of the turnover from the global operations.
“The Tatas story which began in 1868 by Jamsetji N Tata has been the most successful story of India Inc. The role played by Mr Ratan Tata and Mr JRD Tata in making the group truly global has been deservedly recognized all over the world, ASSOCHAM President Rajkumar N Dhoot said in his comments on the survey.
The best of the perceptions for the Tatas was seen in western Europe, followed by the US and the south-east Asia, the survey found. The recent acquisitions and Europe and turn-around of Jaguar Land Rover even in the difficult business made quite a difference in the brand perception.
Besides making bold business decisions and running the businesses professionally, one of the hallmarks of the group has been its ethical business practices. “It requires a lot of courage and guts to remain steadfast in a business environment, which we find, is often mired in controversies. This is one group anyone in the world can bet on,” Mr Dhoot said.
Mahindra and Mahindra, led by its dynamic leader Anand Mahindra and the Infosys Technologies were rated quite high among the Indian corporate, known for their courageous global moves.