Mumbai: India’s tea-to-software conglomerate Tata Group plans to invest more than $8 billion over the next two years, its newly appointed chairman Cyrus Mistry said in an internal email to staff on Wednesday.
Mistry did not elaborate on the investment plans in the email, his first communication to employees after taking over as head of the $100 billion business empire from Ratan Tata.
“Handing over of the responsibility of chairmanship brings with it the winds of change, but the core of the Tata Group must and will remain unchanged,” Mistry said in the email, which was seen by AFP.
“We have already put in place plans for additional investments in excess of 450 billion rupees ($8 billion) over the following two years.”
Mistry said the country’s Congress-led government’s “recent emphasis on policy clarity and a renewed thrust to economic reforms” was encouraging.
Indian premier Manmohan Singh’s scandal-scarred government has unleashed a blitz of reforms in recent months to further open up sectors such as retail, insurance and aviation to foreign investment as it seeks to jumpstart growth.
Mistry, 44, said the group plans to expand its presence in emerging markets in Asia, Africa and parts of Latin America - a strategy already being pursued by group firms Tata Motors and software outsourcer TCS.
During Ratan Tata’s time at the helm, the organisation went on a global purchasing spree, acquiring major names ranging from Tetley Tea to Land Rover and the Anglo-Dutch steel firm Corus in 2007 for $13.7 billion.
Mistry — chosen as Tata’s successor in November 2011 — is the son of Irish citizen Pallonji Mistry, whose construction firm Shapoorji Pallonji is the biggest shareholder of Tata Sons.
Both Mistry and Tata hail from India’s tight-knit Zoroastrian community of Parsis, and have a family link.
Mistry’s sister is married to Tata’s younger half-brother Noel, who was initially tipped to be the group successor.
Tata, now “chairman emeritus” with the group, plans to remain head of the charitable trusts that own two-thirds of the main holding company Tata Sons.