A coup in the House of Tatas

Print edition : November 25, 2016

Ratan Tata and Cyrus Mistry at an art exhibition in Mumbai to celebrate the 175th birth anniversary of Jamsetji Tata on February 21, 2014. Photo: Vivek Bendre

TCS' sprawling campus in Chennai. The company, which predates the IT boom by decades and which now accounts for 70 per cent of all post-tax profits made by the 15 top listed entities in the group, is a shining example of the "Tata way" of doing business. Photo: R. Ragu

Ratan Tata with a Jaguar car at the Auto Expo 2012 in New Delhi. Under his chairmanship, Tata Sons became a truly global conglomerate. Photo: S. Subramanium

A Corus steel factory in IJmuiden, The Netherlands. Tata Steel is one of the group's underperforming assets now because of the global downturn in the steel industry since 2008. Photo: Reuters

The crisis in the Tata group is not just a boardroom battle between Ratan Tata and Cyrus Mistry. It is a conflict between two ideas of doing business, between the old “Tata way” of taking a long-term perspective on investment and a new brash way of seeking quick returns.

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