Mistry leaves a Legacy Behind
Over 70-years, Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group-Tata relationship is built on a foundation of friendship, trust, and good will. Framroze Edulji Dinshaw and Dorab Tata, the younger brother of JRD Tata, sold a sizable share in Tata Sons to Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry, a well-known businessman in the construction industry, in the 1930s. The SP Group became largest minority shareholder with 18.37 percent stakes.
The SP Group acted in the Tata Group's best interests by using its voting rights as a shareholder. When the Tata Trusts, as Public Charitable Trusts, were unable to exercise their voting rights in 2000, the SP Group cast a vote to advance the interests of the Tata Group. After Ratan Tata retired from the chairmanship of Tata Group in 2012, he was succeeded by the head of SP Group Cyrus Mistry.
Cyrus Mistry was an Irish businessman of Indian descent. From 2012 until 2016, he served as the chairman of the Indian business conglomerate Tata Group. He was the group's sixth chairman and only the second (after Nowroji Saklatwala) to not have a Tata last name.
Mistry, the younger son of Indian billionaire Pallonji Mistry and his wife Patsy Perin Dubash, was born to a Parsi family in Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra. His parents practice Zoroastrianism and are of Indian descent. Mistry's mother, on the other hand, was born in Ireland, and his father decided to acquire Irish citizenship. Shapoor Mistry, the older brother of Mistry, is married to Behroze Sethna, a Parsi lawyer, and they both hold Irish citizenship. Laila and Aloo are two further sisters of Mistry. Rustom Jehangir, a London-based portfolio fund manager, is married to Laila. Aloo is married to Noel Tata, Ratan Tata's half-brother who is also half-Parsi, half-French, and half-Catholic.
Mistry attended the Cathedral & John Connon School in South Mumbai for his education. He received a Bachelor of Engineering in civil engineering from the University of London in 1990 after completing his studies at Imperial College London. Later, he attended the London Business School, and in 1996, the University of London awarded him an international executive master's degree in management.
In 1991, Mistry began working as a director for Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Ltd, a family-owned construction business. Mistry previously held the positions of chairman of Tata Sons and the Tata Group in addition to managing director of Shapoorji Pallonji & Company, a subsidiary of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group.
Shapoorji Pallonji Group’s strong presence in India in addition to the Middle East and Africa, is frequently credited with reaching new heights under Mistry's leadership. Further, Mistry expanded his company's product line from construction to include residential project design and delivery in addition to projects in specialised industries like oil and railroads. He has made an international splash with his firm.
After the retirement of a construction magnate, Pallonji Mistry from the board of Tata Sons, his son Cyrus Mistry joined the board on 1 September 2006. He served as a Director of Tata Elxsi Limited, from 24 September 1990 to 26 October 2009, and was a Director of Tata Power Co. Ltd until 18 September 2006.
Mistry was appointed the chairman of Tata Sons after Ratan Tata stepped down in 2013. In addition, he also served as chairman of all major Tata companies including Tata Industries, Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Teleservices, Indian Hotels, Tata Global Beverages, and Tata Chemicals.
He was regarded as ‘the most important industrialist in both India and Britain’ by The Economist.
The tragic death of Cyrus Mistry in a car accident has once again brought attention to the SP group's sizeable 18.4% stake in Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata group, as the SP group had previously discussed splitting away after a tumultuous relationship with Ratan Tata.
The SP Group took out a loan against its stake in Tata Sons for Rs 15,000 crore in March of this year.
SP Group had already discussed dissolving relationships with Tatas in September 2020. Due to past oppressive actions by the Tatas, according to SP Group, the largest shareholder in the Tata Group, separation from them is necessary. Tata Sons' most recent act of retaliation, which has an impact on the livelihoods of the larger SP Group community, makes it seem impossible for both groups to coexist at Tata Sons. They stated that an early resolution needed to be reached to arrive at a fair and equitable solution reflecting the value of the underlying tangible and intangible assets.
The loss of young industrialist is inevitable, and the future of Shapoorji Pallonji group needs to be looked after to preserve its reputation in the market.
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