Monday, December 07, 2020

The $113 Billion Tata Empire Faces Tough Decisions Over Airlines

Ratan Tata is no stranger to flying. As a 17-year-old, the patriarch of India’s biggest conglomerate once landed a plane that had lost its sole engine mid-flight. He’s also piloted the supersonic F-16 fighter jet. That love of aviation hasn’t always translated into business success, however. Tata Group’s two airlines -- AirAsia India and Vistara -- were struggling before the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tatas “are caught between a rock and a hard place,” said Mukund Rajan, a former member of the group’s executive council who’s now the chairman of a investment advisory firm focused on environment, social and governance issues. “The only option to run a successful airline is to seek scale. This would require the Tatas to deploy significantly more capital than they have done thus far. Absent ambition and scale, the prospects for success are probably very remote.” 

Read more on the difficult decisions over the airlines the Tata faces >>

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