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business | IST

Tata Group betting on new age businesses; looking to consolidate aviation verticals: Bhaskar Bhat

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Bhaskar Bhat, Director, Tata Sons discussed all that's ticking at Tata Sons in an interview with CNBC-TV18. 

Tata Group has been in the thick of news in recent times. Right from bringing the Maharaja (Air India) back home to the EV deal with TPG. Subsequently. Tata Motors and Tata Power are firing away on Dalal Street and on Wednesday, the stocks saw a huge move. Almost all the listed Tata entities were up, and all together, they added Rs 70,000 crore in market capitalization in just a day.
Bhaskar Bhat, Director, Tata Sons discussed all that's ticking at Tata Sons in an interview with CNBC-TV18.
“All the Tata Group companies have performed extremely well and it is not just on the stock market but it is also an actual performance of generating cash,” he said.
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The group's renewable energy push has been a prime driving force and experts believe that a long-term outlook by the group has pleased Dalal Street.
“It is not just Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tata Power is into renewables. Tata Motors is the market leader in electric vehicles (EVs). So it is not just a story on valuations and the market giving us credit, it is also a real improvement. You have seen the Titan story as well. The companies are getting into new-age businesses,” he said.
When asked for the game plan for the aviation sector, the Tat Sons' director said that he wouldn’t want to talk long-term game plan but explained the rationale from the company's perspective.
"We did have a position and a presence in the market (aviation). With that kind of market share which is 10-13 percent, you are no market leader and it doesn't make sense. So, to get to a reasonable market share, which is 25 percent, and Air India is a national asset and as a group, we are proud as the chairman stated that the government has vested this responsibility with us of running the national carrier, the carrier which carries the name India," he said.
He agreed that the sector faces many challenges currently but was optimistic of better times ahead.
"So, the profitability and so on - yes, the industry has been riddled with many, many closures and withdrawals but the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the minister himself is looking at many things that can be corrected. The leadership in the aviation space is ensured by getting the Air India,” said Bhatt.
In terms of combining three aviation entities, he said, “Multiple entities in any business with multiple backends and multiple service providers don't make sense. As we go forward we will figure out how to get into the leadership position. As I said, it is a work in process, the thinking is how to ensure that the 25 percent market share keeps growing.”
Consumer digital business is being done not for the sake of value, this is being done, because that's the right thing to do, he noted.
“Digital makes life easier for everyone, there is accuracy, there is timing, there is lower cost, and so on, you have to also train people within the system to adopt and adapt to digital. So that's a very big plan underway and there's a team in Tata Sons that is enabling and helping companies to become digital,” he said.
“So multiple initiatives are in place for transforming the group, both from an online commerce perspective as well as digitalising,” he added.
When asked what the next growth triggers could be for Titan, he said, “Fundamentally Titan is in multiple businesses. So to an extent, it is de-risked - the jewellery business is the largest growing now, essentially two-three things that are going in favour -One is we are still in Titan, a low market share player in the jewellery business. It's not that there is anybody bigger than us, but it is such a fragmented market that the headroom is still very high."
For the entire conversation, watch the accompanying video.
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