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The downs

Ratan Tata

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The downs

It hasnt always been smooth sailing for Ratan Tata or the Tata group. A case in point is the Corus acquisition of 2007, which isnt panning out too well for the company. Sales and profitability at Tata Steels European operations have taken a hit, due to the 2008 09 financial meltdown and the subsequent euro zone crisis. Company executives do not expect the situation to improve any time soon. The Nano isnt a huge success either. Tata, in his interview on the group website, said the Nano was marketed like other cars, but as a minimal automobile at a low price.

I would love to have a chance to implement a new marketing plan for the product, if that were possible, Tata said. The emergence of a strong rival to Tata Motors in the passenger car segment, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M), is another cause of concern articulated by Tata at the companys last shareholders meeting in August. We should do a great deal of introspection as to why M&M is ahead of us. I have great respect for the company. But we should look at this in sadness that we let that happen, Tata remarked. The conglomerate is also sitting on a debt pile of $26 billion (around Rs.1.42 trillion), a number that is causing concern among some investors. This needs to be seen in the context of the 29 listed group companies combined net worth of Rs.1.43 trillion, and cash and cash equivalents of Rs.36,289.38 crore, according to data from Capitaline.


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