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Aluminium giant Alcoa inducts Tata on board

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Aluminium giant Alcoa inducts Tata on board
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Aluminium giant Alcoa inducts Tata on board - February 18th, 2007

MUMBAI: Global megacorps seem to be queuing up to induct Indian corporate captains to their boards. The $30 billion Alcoa, the world’s largest aluminium maker based in New York, inducted Ratan Naval Tata, 69, chairman of Tata Sons, to its 12-member board as a director on Friday.


Just a week ago, NR Narayana Murthy, co-founder of Infosys Technologies, was inducted to the board of Unilever plc, one of the largest global FMCG giants.
They follow Naina Lal Kidwai, HSBC’s India chief, who was last year inducted to the board of Swiss chocolate and beverages giant Nestle SA.


Murthy’s protégé, Infosys managing director & COO Nandan Nilekani, is on the Reuters Group Plc board, while Jagdish Sheth, marketing guru, is on board of pharmaceuticals giant Eli Lilly and NASDAQ-listed genetics firm Cryocell Inc.
Enlisting Tata comes at a time when predators are circling Alcoa. Reports
suggest that Australian mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton have readied bid approaches for Alcoa in an attempt to de-risk their gigantic copper and iron ore businesses. The price? About $40 billion, or Rs1,60,000 crore, says the buzz.
This makes Tata’s induction timely. Only a fortnight ago he won a four-month, $11 billion fight for UK’s Corus Group, defeating Brazilian steelmaker Cia Sidegurgica Nacional.


The experience will come in handy. Alcoa chairman and CEO Alain Belda said, “Ratan’s global business acumen and his depth of knowledge about quality and customer satisfaction will make him a valuable addition to our board.”
For Tata, this is nothing out of the ordinary. He is a director of Italian automaker Fiat SpA. He is on the international advisory boards of Japanese giant Mitsubishi Corporation and bulge-bracket global finance companies such as American International Group (AIG) and JPMorgan Chase.


He is also a member of the Asia-Pacific Advisory Committee to the New York Stock Exchange and chairs the advisory board of US think tank Rand Corporation’s Centre for Asia Pacific Policy.


Tata has also been trying to pick talent from foreign companies to manage his business ventures. The Tata Group was among the earliest Indian companies to rope in expatriate heads for some of its ventures.


Darryl Green, an Australian, is CEO of Tata Teleservices, while Raymond Bickson, who is at the helm at Indian Hotels, parent company of the Taj Group of Hotels, is Hawaiian by birth.


Ratan Tata, who holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Cornell University, joined the Tata Group in 1962, and became chairman of the holding company, Tata Sons, in 1991.


Under his leadership, the group has grown globally, primarily through acquisitions. Today it runs 96 companies in seven business sectors.
In India, Tata is chairman of the Government of India’s Investment Commission, and a member of several business, industry and trade organisations.



Source : DNA
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