Ratan Tata is a class act: Russi Mody

JRD tata,Russi mody and Ratan Tata from left to rightHe once likened Ratan Tata to a circus performer, but Russi Mody, the former statesman-like head of Tata Steel, now admits that the Tata Group chairman is a class act.

“I have not been in charge for the last fourteen years, but I think Ratan Tata and (Tata Steel managing director) B Muthuraman have done a first-class job in terms of performance of a steel company,” Mody, 90, is quoted as saying in a biography Russi Mody: The Man Who Also Made Steel, written by Partha Mukherjee and Jyoti Sabharwal.

His admission, admiration and praise for Tata comes forth in the book that also tells his side of the story on the conflict between him and Ratan Tata over the issue of retirement of Tata Group officials and their present bonhomie.

Mody is said to have felt slighted by Tata, who, he sensed, had a hand in his ouster from Tisco (now Tata Steel) in the 1990s, but has since gotten over the episode. The two appear to have made peace and as recent as August 2007, Mody hosted Ratan Tata at his business suite in Taj Bengal, Kolkata.

The 30-minute meeting was their first in public gaze, although they are reportedly known to have met privately twice earlier.

At the height of controversy surrounding his retirement, Mody, reacting to Tata’s statement that Tisco would not be affected by the exit of Russi Mody, had replied: “Ratan is quite right. No one is indispensable. My disappearance from Jamshedpur may not be felt, but the arrival of Ratan Tata and (JJ) Irani will certainly make a difference. It’s all like a circus — the serious acts of entertainment are always shown first. Then come the clowns and the animal trainers. That may well be the case with Tisco.”

But Mody, who seemed convinced that no one else can run the steel company as well as he did, has said that he finds it “extremely exhilarating” that “in its 100th year, Tata Steel has taken the step that would make it an international company.”

He was referring to Tata Steel’s acquisition of Anglo-Ducth steel maker Corus, which includes the remnants of British Steel that had a century ago tried to thwart Tatas’ plan to make steel.

“This is how life comes full circle,” says the biography, noting that while the controversy surrounding Mody had its origins in his choice of successors, it was Mody who spotted the present Tata Steel managing director Muthuraman, who worked under Aditya Kashyap.

Courtesy :- Rediff


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