On Thursday, two months after the surprise ouster of Cyrus Mistry as the Tata Group Chairman, Tata Sons announced the appointment of veteran insider and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) chief N. Chandrasekaran as the new chairman. Chandrasekaran will take over the reins of the $100-billion conglomerate from the interim chairman, Ratan Tata.
An old Tata hand who has been with the group for decades, Chandrasekaran, 53, was the youngest CEO at Tata Group when he took over the top job at TCS at the age of 42 in 2009. He began his career at the Tata Group as an intern.
Here are five interesting facts about N. Chandrasekaran:
1. He is a part-time non-official director with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). He was appointed to the RBI board in March last year for a four-year tenure.
2. Chandrasekaran is not a member of the Tata family nor related to it, and will be the first non-Parsi chairman of Tata Sons. Like the Tatas, the Mistrys are part of Mumbai's tight-knit Parsi religious minority. Cyrus Mistry's sister is married to Ratan Tata's half-brother.
3. According to his profile in the Mint newspaper, Chandrasekaran once considered agriculture as a profession in keeping with his father's wishes, but later persuaded his father otherwise and went on to complete a master's in computer applications in 1986 from Regional Engineering College, Trichy. He took a job at TCS in his final year of college. He also toyed with the idea of become a Chartered Accountant at one point.
4. His brothers are also corporate high achievers. The new TCS Chief Operating Officer N. Ganapathy Subramaniam is Chandrasekaran's older brother. His eldest brother is N. Srinivasan, group finance director at the Murugappa Group, the parent company of Parry Enterprises.
5. Chandrasekaran is a marathon runner. He participated in the Mumbai Marathon in 2008 and 2009. He ran the New York Marathon in 2009, the Chicago Marathon in 2010, and the Berlin and Boston Marathons in 2011, in addition to at least eight half-marathons. He told Mint in an interview that running has helped him become a better listener, and it also helps him reflect on issues.
With Reuters inputs