Cyrus Mistry: from the SP group to the Tata group, and beyond – A look at his journey

Cyrus Mistry, a high profile Irish businessman of Indian origin and former Chairman of Tata Group, died in a road accident on September 4, 2022 in Palghar district, Maharashtra. Leaders from across the political and business spectrum hailed Mistry’s passing. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the businessman’s untimely death was a great loss for the world of commerce and industry. Mistry is survived by two sons and his wife Rohiqa Chagla.

The first non-Indian citizen to lead the Tata Group, Cyrus Mistry was the Indian conglomerate’s sixth and youngest chairman. He took over after Ratan Tata retired in December 2012.

Let’s take a look at some facets of the life of the industrialist who had decades of varied experience running businesses ranging from construction and entertainment to energy and finance.

ALSO READ: Former Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry, 54, dies in car accident

Who was Cyrus Mistry?

life and education

Cyrus Mistry was born in 1968 into a Parsi family of billionaire group patriarch Shapoorji Pallonji Pallonji Mistry and Patsy Perin Dubash. He studied at Cathedral & John Connon School in South Mumbai. He graduated in commerce from the University of Mumbai, then studied civil engineering at Imperial College London. He then continued with a Masters in Management from the London Business School.

Later, Mistry obtained an International Masters in Management from the University of London in 1996.


Cyrus Mistry joined the family business in 1991 and became director of Shapoorji Pallonji & Co Ltd. Three years later, he was appointed group general manager. Under his leadership, revenue for Shapoorji Pallonji’s construction business grew from $20 million to nearly $1.5 billion. Mistry also oversaw the company’s diversification from construction to the design and construction of complex projects in the marine, oil and gas, and rail sectors.

Mistry was also a Non-Executive Director at Forbes Gokak Ltd and was associated with Convergence Media Pvt Ltd as Senior Vice President of Operations and Planning, and UTV Toons India.

In the 1930s, Mistry’s grandfather Shapoorji Mistry first acquired a stake in Tata Sons. Cyrus Mistry joined the Tata Sons board in September 2006, a year after his father retired from the organization.

ALSO READ: Cyrus Mistry: A reclusive Scion who fought for honor after being fired

Known to love golf, the late business mogul was seen as a studious behind-the-scenes executive with a quick wit.

The Economist called Cyrus Mistry in a 2013 article “the most important industrialist in India and Britain”.

Cyrus Mistry became Vice Chairman of the Tata Group in 2011, then succeeded Ratan Tata as Chairman of Tata Sons to much fanfare in December 2012. A year later, he took over as chairman of Tata Sons.

Regarding the selection of his successor, Ratan Tata said he was impressed with the “quality and caliber” of Mistry’s participation on the board of Tata Sons and praised his “astute observations and humility”.

“Be your own man, you should take your own calls and you should decide what you want,” Ratan Tata said in an interview when asked what he would like to advise if Mistry asked.

Apart from his responsibilities with the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, he has also served as Chairman of all major Tata companies including Tata Industries, Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, Tata Chemicals, Tata Power, Tata Teleservices, Tata Global Beverages and Hotels. indians.

However, in October 2016, he was ousted from his post following a coup in the boardroom. A lengthy legal battle ensued.

The Mistry family is the largest shareholder of Tata Sons with a stake of over 18% in Tata Sons. During his tenure at the helm of the Tata Group, Mistry worked with a specially formed Group Executive Council (GEC) comprising hand-picked executives within the Tata Group, industry executives and also academics to effectively steer the operations.

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