Mistry talks of sustainable growth, wants cos to be 'agile'
The Dollar Business Bureau
With overseas business making up 70 per cent of Tata group's revenue, Chairman Cyrus Mistry remains optimistic about acquisitions -- both within and outside India -- as also growth through the organic route.
He wants his companies to have speed and agility to adapt to "turbulent times".
Each of the group companies is charting its own strategy and growth story, with a focus on sustainable and profitable growth, Mistry asserted.
"We continue to remain open to growth opportunities in India and overseas, through the organic route and acquisitions," he said.
The group invested Rs 4,15,000 crore (USD 79 billion) in capex over the last decade. Of this, Rs 1,70,000 crore (USD 28 billion) was invested in the last three years alone.
In an interview to the in-house magazine, Mistry, who took over the reins in late 2012 from the legendary Ratan Tata, also spoke about coming to grips with responsibility of chairmanship, multiple challenges facing Tata companies, essentials of technology, innovation and customer centricity, and continuing Tatas' commitment to societal causes.
"We recognise that growth has to be a function of the operating cash flows we generate. At the group level, over the last three years, our operating cash flows have grown by over 30 per cent CAGR. But this, as we know, is not the appropriate way to use such data - our individual companies need to earn the right to grow," Mistry said.
"At the group level, we are focused on helping our companies earn this right by building strong operational cash flows and looking at their capital structures."
But he struck a note of caution: Capex should not be looked in isolation from investment in talent, brands and technology. He feels these will be the true differentiators in future.
"We are building the Tata group of the next 150 years," he said.
Tata group's international revenues are close to 70 per cent of its composite turnover. Also, a majority of the group's capital expenditure in the last three years have been in foreign geographies.
With the opening up of two new markets of Iran and Myanmar, several Tata firms are "gaining traction there".