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Nobody at Tata Group anticipated the removal of Cyrus Mistry, says Mukund Rajan

Updated : April 16, 2019 08:22 PM IST

Mukund Rajan, a former member of Group Executive Council at Tata Sons, in an interview with CNBC-TV18, said that nobody in the company had anticipated the removal of Cyrus Mistry.

"We had a sense that there was perhaps some tension in the air but I do not think any of us anticipated removal was on the cards. Particularly when you are discussing a position of a chairman of a board, it was not something we even deemed as within the realms of possibility. Also, some of us and I have to confess I was not one of that group, were aware that Cyrus Mistry was on a 5-year contract and at this point of time in October 2016 was 6 months away from the end of his contract. So, later when I spoke to some of my colleagues in the erstwhile Group Executive Council (GEC), some of them felt that at worst that contract might not have been renewed but a sudden termination was something that none of us saw that coming," he said.

"Both Ratan Tata and Cyrus Mistry, to my mind, were perfect gentlemen in the way they conducted themselves, the way they dealt with stakeholders, the way they treated their office staff, fellow colleagues, there is so much to learn from both of them, they are extremely grounded people. I thoroughly enjoyed my 4 years with Cyrus Mistry. There was never a sense that we were not part of a team or that we weren't in this together, that we had common challenges we were trying to address, very hard working guy, extremely bright, very sharp on the uptake. It was tragic that he and Ratan Tata who are very similar in many respects had this falling out. I have still not till this day fully understood what was the reason for that," he added.

Rajan, who is the brother of former Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan, spoke at length about his new book 'The Brand Custodian: My Years with the Tatas'.
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