Watch: Tata Sons head Chandrasekaran at Express Adda

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Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran in conversation with Indian Express Executive Director Anant Goenka and Financial Express Managing Editor Sunil Jain during Express Adda at Taj Lands End, Bandra. (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran, 10-12-2019, Mumbai)

One of the most powerful business leaders and a key corporate voice in the country, N Chandrasekaran, the Chairman of Tata Sons, was the guest at the Express Adda in Mumbai today. Chandrasekaran had taken over the reins of Tata Sons— the holding company of Tata Group — in February 2017.

Chandrasekaran was in conversation with Anant Goenka, Executive Director, The Indian Express Group, and Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express.

Under his stewardship, the group, which has an employee strength of 7,06,511 across around 100 companies, recorded revenues of over $110 billion in FY ’18 and has market capitalisation of Rs 11.31 lakh crore (as on December 6, 2019).

As the leader of the most diversified group, which has interests ranging from retail to automobiles to software, his voice holds significance amidst the ongoing economic slowdown and weak consumer sentiment.

Chandrasekaran is also the co-author of the book Bridgital Nation, that was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October. Published by Penguin India, the book’s co-author is Roopa Purushothaman, chief economist and head of policy advocacy at Tata Group.

Chandrasekaran, who was earlier the CEO and MD of Tata Consultancy Services — the group’s largest company by net profit and market capitalisation — joined the group in 1987.

Since taking over the group, he has not only brought stability, but also settled some of the legacy issues. If, on the one hand, he settled the dispute with NTT-Docomo, he has also been focussing on the transformation of Tata Motors, that has come out with a series of new passenger vehicle models over the last couple of years. Chandrasekaran is also involved in simplifying the group structure — while simplification would include deleveraging and restructuring the companies, it will also aim at cost-cutting and improving efficiency.

Born in a Tamil family in Mohanur, near Namakkal in Tamil Nadu, his early education was in a Tamil-medium government school. He later graduated from the Coimbatore Institute of Technology with a degree in applied sciences, and then did his post-graduation in computer applications from the Regional Engineering College (REC), Tiruchirappalli.

He is an avid photographer and a passionate marathon runner. He started running in 2007, and has completed the World Marathon Majors — in New York, Boston, Chicago, Berlin, Tokyo and London.

The Express Adda is a series of informal interactions organised by The Indian Express Group and features those at the centre of change. Past guests at the event include Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, former UK Deputy Prime Minister and Vice-President of Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook Nick Clegg, the Dalai Lama, the late Arun Jaitley, economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, oncologist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee, Congress leader and Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara, world badminton champion P V Sindhu, and national badminton coach and former All England champion Pullela Gopichand.