Amidst continuing uncertainty in overall business climate, Tata Group Chairman Cyrus P. Mistry said to succeed in the volatile environment, the group companies must evaluate alternative scenarios of the future while crafting their strategies.

“Clearly, the year gone by has witnessed a business environment that has continued to be volatile and uncertain. Stagnant or sluggish economic growth across some of our key markets such as India and Europe has impacted the performance of several Tata companies. This is a time for us to re-look at some of our strategies, recalibrate our business models, fine-tune our execution capabilities and invest in our future,” Mr. Mistry said in a year-end letter to employees of the group.

Need for innovation

Stressing the need for innovation and investing in R&D, Mr. Mistry said: “Our organisations will need to embrace agility, powered by teams with the aptitude and capability for continual learning. To remain relevant in an increasingly competitive world, we shall put innovation capability at the core of each of our companies’ operating structures and will invest in R&D and grow top talent.”

He also urged employees to seek opportunities for group companies to pool resources to co-create shared value.

“There is so much that collaboration between our companies can offer, be it in areas like innovation, management of technology, or identifying the emerging needs and wants of consumers,” Mr. Mistry said while following a habit set by his predecessor Ratan Tata who used to send out a letter to employees at the end of the every year.

The Tata Group chairman said the group, to achieve its goal, must, among other things, foster a culture of openness across the group, and develop a performance-oriented framework that valued each colleague’s contribution as well as cultural fit with the group. “This requires significant investment in people development and in encouraging diversity in the workplace,” he added.

In his opening remark, Mr. Mistry, who completed one year as chairman of Tata Sons on December 28, said he spent the past year interacting with colleagues across the globe, acquiring a fuller understanding of the multiple businesses under the Tata group umbrella, and comprehending all that the group represented for its many stakeholders.

He said each employee of the group had a responsibility to protect and enhance the group’s brand through the ethical conduct of business and by adhering to the unique value system instilled by the founder, sustained for over half-a-century by JRD Tata, and fortified by Mr. Ratan N. Tata in recent years.

In conclusion, quoting the late Nelson Mandela, Mr. Mistry said: “Do not judge me by my successes; judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

“There is a lesson in these words of Nelson Mandela, and by taking them to heart we can build on the unique platform that our founder and those who followed him created,” Mr. Mistry added.

This is Mr. Mistry’s second letter to the employees of group companies and the first one was written by him soon after he took over in January 2013.

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