He joined Tata Group’s crown jewel and cash cow TCS as a trainee/intern programmer in 1987 and got an extension last week as the Executive Chairman of Tata Sons for five years. A face of stability for the Tata Group, Natarajan Chandrasekaran has had a remarkable journey with Tatas and is set to hit fresh milestones in his fresh tenure at the helm of the 154-year-old conglomerate
“Mr. Ratan. N. Tata who was a special invitee to this meeting expressed his satisfaction with the progress and performance of the Tata Group under the leadership of Mr. N Chandrasekaran. He recommended his term be renewed for a further five-year period. The Board members commended the performance of the Executive Chairman and unanimously approved the reappointment of Mr. N Chandrasekaran as the Executive Chairman for the next five years,” the company said in an official statement.
Popularly known as Chandra in business and media circles, he is the first non-Parsis and professional executive to head the Tata Group. “It has been a privilege to lead the Tata Group for the last five years and I am delighted at the opportunity to lead the Tata Group for another five years, in its next phase,” he said after the Board announcement.
Chandrasekaran took over the reins of Tata Sons in 2017. He became Chairman at a time when the Group faced a leadership crisis and a trust deficit after the ouster of his predecessor, Cyrus Mistry. A large part of his tenure as the Chairman and CEO of Tata Sons was spent fighting the legal battle against Mistry, which led to public mudslinging, something unusual for Tata Group. Restoring the faith of investors resolves Tata Steel’s debt burden. Winning the bid for national career Air India towards the fag-end of his first tenure was one of the biggest achievements for Chandra besides the victory against Cyrus Mistry in the Supreme Court.
Media reports also credit Chandra with having stabilized Tata Motors and his strong statement on being self-reliant during the peak of the chip shortage is seen as a reinforcement of his position as the leader of India Inc. Some key acquisitions, including Big Basket and 1mg, but the Tatas on the map in the new-age sector boom, according to these reports.
Earlier as part of his illustrious career with the Group, Chandra rose to the top slot at TCS and has also been the Chairman of Tata Motors and Tata Global Beverages.
Born on June 2, 1963, at Mohanur in Namakkal district of Tamil Nadu, Chandrasekaran studied in a Tamil Government school in Mohanur. He later received a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Sciences from the Coimbatore Institute of Technology and earned his Master of Computer Applications (MCA) from Regional Engineering College, Tiruchirappalli, (now NIT Tiruchirappalli), in 1986. A year later, he embarked upon his journey with the Tatas by joining TCS in 1987.