During my tenure as executive chairman of Tata Sons, it was always my duty and privilege to present India to the global business community as a market of great opportunity and promise, backed by an effective rule of law that is just, equitable and evolved.
At Tata Sons, I have had the opportunity to work with a fantastic team of people from diverse backgrounds in multiple industries and geographies all bound together by a common value system embedded by the founders into the Tata Group. For that opportunity, I shall be eternally grateful.
My aim at Tata, an iconic institution undergoing a generational change in leadership, was to ensure a robust Board driven system of decision making and governance that is larger than any one individual. A key focus was to enable the directors on various Boards to discharge their fiduciary duties without fear or favor, while still ensuring that shareholders views were reflected in strategy and actions. It continues to be my belief that it is by such a model, that one would protect value for all stakeholders in Tata Sons and its various Group companies.
To this end, my performance was reviewed by nearly 50 Independent directors across multiple Tata Boards that I served. Beyond the performance metric that speaks for itself and the documented appreciation for my initiatives, I am humbled by the continued support I have received from my former colleagues and other Board members. All the successes we achieved, was built on the efforts of a very talented team including my executive management team (The GEC), the managers and staff of Tata Sons as well as the management teams in the Tata operating companies supported by their respective Board Members.
Over the last four years, I have had the opportunity to reflect on my actions and on whether I could have handled the generational change in leadership better. In hindsight, while I may have had many imperfections, I have no doubt or erosion of conviction about the direction I chose, the integrity behind my actions and their consequences. Every member of society looks to institutions such as courts to validate and endorse the appropriateness of his or her actions and beliefs. As a minority shareholder of Tata Sons, I am personally disappointed by the outcome of the judgement with respect to our case. Although I will no longer be able to influence the direction of governance of the Tata group directly, I hope that the issues I have raised, will cause deeper reflection and influence individuals concerned to catalyze change. I sleep with a clear conscience.
Life is not always fair, but we are still the lucky ones – I am lucky to have the unwavering support of my family, friends, colleagues - past & present. I am grateful to my legal team that has remained steadfast and committed beyond the call of duty, through this journey.
This is another step in the evolution of life for me and my family. We will celebrate the good times and take the knocks on our chins.