A poll had been rolled out on the website www. zoroastrians.net by the Parsee community in Mumbai. The survey on the website asks “Should the next Tata chairman be from the Parsee community as well?” As on Thursday, 374 people had answered the poll. A staggering 77% of the people voted ‘yes’. 23% of the people voted ‘not necessarily -find the most competent chairman’. Only one person voted ‘no’.
This division is in the poll is in line with what Kersi Randeria, Bombay Parsee Punchayet (BPP) trustee and owner of community ‘Parsee Times’, has observed as well. “Based on numbers that have come in, the breakup would be 70 to 30, with 70 per cent saying, “Oh, let there be a bawaji” and 30 per cent saying that the decision should be based on ‘ability’ and not community”.
Randeria himself takes a pragmatic view. “This is a corporate decision. It is not a Parsee charitable trust or some community work. The decision the Tata Group will take will be in the interest of the group. For the last 148 years, they have had a Parsee at the helm of things but I don’t think finding a Parsee will be the determining factor.” According to Parsiana editor, Jehangir Patel, finding a Parsee to head the conglomerate would be difficult if not impossible. “Now that Cyrus Mistry as gone, there is no real Parsee candidate. There’s some talk of Noel Tata but he is not even on the board of directors, forget being chairperson. They would likely want someone from the board who knows the Tata culture. But even if they bring someone from outside, like Adi Godrej or Nusli Wadia, they are past the age limit. I can’t think of any Parsee who would fit the profile. There are just not that many Parsees around.” Read more on Cyrus Mistry
However, BPP chairman, Yazdi Desai is eager to see a Parsee take over the reins and maintain the group’s legacy. “I don’t know if the next chairman will be a Parsee, but it should be”, he said. However, he agrees that finding the next and right Parsee candidate will be difficult. “We would like Ratan Tata to continue, but he can only be the interim chairman because he is approaching the retirement age”, he added.
The position of ‘The chairman’ of a company carries with it very heavy responsibilities and the capabilities of the candidate could determine the fate of the company. An able chairman would bring business success to the company whereas an inefficient one could spell disaster for the company. Choosing the right candidate is very important to the company and the selection process should test the ability and not the community of the candidate. Read more on Startup News
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