NOEL TATA, TATA GROUP: He's Got Connections

NOEL TATA TATA GROUP

In some ways, Noel Tata is an unlikely candidate to take over the Tata Group, India's most famous business conglomerate, which sells everything from steel to information-technology consulting to coffee and tea. The 46-year-old heads Trent, the group's retail unit, which had $27 million in revenue last year--a tiny share of the conglomerate's overall $11.2 billion revenue. But Noel has the right dynastic connections to take over the group, founded by an ancestor in the 19th century. His half brother Ratan is now chairman, and father-in-law Pallonji Mistry is one of the largest shareholders.

Noel's managerial record is good. Since...

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