October 24, 2018
Cyrus Mistry wore a salt-and-pepper look just after he lost the top job in Tata group two years ago. It was perceived as if turbulent times led to the change in appearance, but he carried it while leading the legal battle against Ratan Tata. Finally, he embraced the pensive look as his new identity and announced his first business plans after the Tata stint.
In the new avatar, he will provide strategic insights and advice to businesses, incubate new ventures and provide seed, early stage and growth capital to start-ups. Along with his elder brother Shapoor, Mistry has floated the firm Mistry Ventures LLP for building start-ups.
The Shapoorji Pallonji Group has 13 companies, three divisions and an employee base of over 60,000 people. Cyrus was the Managing Director of Shapoorji Pallonji Group when he was chosen as the chairman of $100 billion Tata Group. In December 2011, immediately after the announcement of his appointment, he legally disassociated from the management responsibilities of his family business to avoid any conflict of interest. But after losing the job in 2016, he didn’t take any official positions in the family business and kept quiet even when asked about the future plans.
The investment plans of Mistry Ventures, which is registered as a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), will be finalised after the Diwali holidays. It is not clear how much capital corpus will be created for the investments, however fund size is not a concern for the $18.7 billion worth Mistry family. In an LLP, no partner is liable on account of the independent or unauthorized actions of other partners, thus allowing individual partners to be shielded from joint liability created by another partner’s wrongful business decisions or misconduct.
Cyrus is likely to head the venture and his investment interest is expected to be a continuity of what he was doing in Tata group. In Tata group, he was instrumental in revamping the passenger car business, launched e-commerce platforms including TataCLiQ.com, and acquired renewable energy assets, besides being bullish on digital health, real estate, financial services and defence businesses. Digital is expected to be one key area in Mistry’s plan of action since he envisaged the digital vision for the Tata group.
At present, Shapoor Mistry is the chairman of Shapoorji Pallonji Group. The Mistry family owns 18.4 per cent stake in Tata Sons.