TATA SONS IS THE STORY BUT MYSTERY?

Things (and perspectives) vary depending on which side of the fulcrum you are. So, the ongoing Samajwadi Party (SP) family feud is the politically most surcharged event of the times (and not just the day).

But the day threw one more surprising development today – abrupt sacking of Cyrus Mistry – the 48 year old Tata Group chairman who had succeeded the formidable and most admirable face of the Indian corporate world, Ratan Tata, in December 2012.

But like the SP family (and thus party) feud smacks of intriguing stories, mysteries, conspiracies, sabotage and even flat rebellion, there is nothing that you would tend to read in the Tata Group development.

Because branding and perceptions are entirely different here.

The SP feud is about politics, the craft, the entity, the social practice, whatever we want to call it, and politics has almost no credibility when it comes to branding, when it comes to conform to the established norms of humanity and human rights, the trust value, the most basic thing with branding. Life of a political party or a politician is full of controversies – a detriment to the branding perceptions (and thus exercises).

But the Indian corporate world is better placed here, with bag of mixed possibilities, depending on who commands what. And Ratan Tata is the one person whom almost everyone admires. He is epitome of integrity, humanity and business excellence. And the same can be said about the Tata Group even if the conduct of some of its companies do attract controversies (but basically business-oriented in nature).

So, even if it is going to be the most surprising and (shocking) high-level sacking in the Indian corporate world so far and Cyrus Mistry is going to challenge it legally, it is going to be seen as just yet another business-oriented controversy, because it has Ratan Tata’s endorsement who has replaced Cyrus as Tata Group’s interim chairman till the group finds the next one.

And that makes the reason, that Cyrus was micro-managing everything and was not allowing CEOs of different Tata companies to work independently that in turn was affecting the group’s work-culture and that in turn was affecting performance (except TCS and JLR, other Tata Group companies are not performing well), the most plausible (and hence the most acceptable) logic behind this sudden move, something that may not seem that sudden if you keenly watch the Indian industry.

So, no mysteries here.

©SantoshChaubey

THE RATAN TATA JNU BUZZ?

Yesterday, during and in the context of one of my articles on the ongoing Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) row, I had used ‘access chaos and information chaos’ – that how access can become excess when we lead to chaos – and when we are misled to chaos.

Apart from the developments directly related to the JNU controversy, something happened that became its most legitimate example of the day.

It was the Ratan Tata development.

Now Ratan Tata is probably the most respected figure of the corporate India and that too in a constellation of very few. And the most remarkable thing about him is that his popularity extends beyond the corporate realms.

He is a real brand custodian of the most trusted and sincere brand name in India’s industrial space – Tata – that percolates much deeper in our psyche. Tata stands out not only for its corporate social responsibility but goes much beyond with its many ‘for society’ initiatives like hospitals and research institutes.

The name Ratan Tata inspires us to aspire – with his integrity, with his simplicity and with his sincerity.

That Ratan Tata was at the centre of a rumour mongering social media frenzy last day that linked him to the ongoing JNU row – in fact shown him taking sides – showing him in solidarity with the so-called ‘anti-national’ elements of JNU.

And it went to the extent that Tata Sons had to issue clarification that Ratan Tata had not said so.

Here is the message that went viral that said that ‘Tata would not employ JNU students anymore’.

Ratan-Tata-JNU-rumor-4

Ratan-Tata-JNU-rumor-2

These images in fact look shabbily treated and those who really know about Ratan Tata would not believe in any such message. But then there are many in this country, like those who are busy presenting their nationalist credentials these days, sometimes in JNU, sometimes in Hyderabad, sometimes at the Patiala House Courts Complex, and they would grab such ‘adding fuel to the fire’ developments instantly – as evident by tens of thousands of shares and likes on various social media platforms and on services like Whatsapp.

Ratan Tata

The charade went on for so long and spread so wide that the Tata Group had to take notice and issue clarification that Ratan Tata did not issue any such statement.

This is a perfect example how information access becomes chaos in one go and how rumours so quickly spread to add to a raging controversy or social unrest. The information available on internet can cause more harm than good if not used cautiously (and judiciously). The dream to make information accessible is a dream for everyone to see but we need to put qualifiers so as to lead us to order and not to chaos.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/