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From being CEO, MD of TCS to becoming the new chairman of Tata Sons, the rise of N Chandrasekaran

This could be a story straight out of a movie. A boy born into a agricultural family in a small village dreams of making it big one day, moves to the big city to work in a top company and one day becomes the boss.

This is the real life story of Natarajan Chandrasekaran. Until today, he was the CEO and MD of Tata Consultancy Services, India’s largest software services exporter. Now, he will be the chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, which has over 100 firms in its fold, from salt to software, auto to aviation.

Chandrasekaran, may not carry a Tata surname, nor he may have any family relations, but he is an out and out Tata man. Chandra, as he is fondly called, joined TCS as a trainee in 1987 after completing his Masters in Computer Applications from Regional Engineering College, Trichy. He has been with TCS since.

Chandra was promoted to MD and CEO of TCS in 2009. He was appointed as a director on the board of Tata Sons on October 25, 2016 and his name had been doing the rounds as one of the prospective candidates to lead the Tata Group since.

And rightfully so. Since he was named CEO and MD, TCS’ revenue and profits have seen over a three-fold jump. In 2015-16, the company reported a consolidated revenue of over $16.54 billion on net profit of $3.69 billion.

As a chairman of Tata Sons he will have a quite a few challenges ahead of him, restructuring and returning to good health Tata Steel’s European operations, turning around Tata Motors’ domestic passenger vehicle business and making luxury hotel company Indian Hotels profitable again at a consolidated level, just to name a few key issues.

Outside of work, Chandra loves to run long distance marathons. His career so far too has been like a marathon and not a short sprint. Now as he takes charge as Tata Sons chairman, he will need all that stamina and energy for the many miles that lie ahead.

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Author:

I am a business journalist by profession and have close watch on equity markets and developments across FMCG, Retail, real estate, auto and information technology sectors in India. When not writing, I am an avid photographer (instagram.com/nachiket.kelkar) and Arsenal FC fan. I also love train spotting.

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