After R Venkataramanan, the Managing Trustee of Tata Trusts, resigned on 13th February, 2019, Noel Tata, Ratan Tata’s half-brother, has been appointed as a Trustee of the Sir Ratan Tata Trust, the second largest among the dozen-odd charities that make up Tata Trusts. A statement issued by Tata Trusts revealed that Venkataramanan will relinquish responsibilities as the Managing Trustee/ Trustee of the Tata Trusts on March 31, 2019, after completing five years with the Trusts.
Venkataramanan has been on the tax radar over his income and investigating agencies are known to have been probing allegations that AirAsia India tried to bribe government officials for a few policy changes, which would in turn give the airline an edge over the others. The Enforcement Directorate has also filed a money laundering case against AirAsia India for the same. Venkataramanan served as the nominee of Tata Sons on the board of the AirAsia India, a joint venture between Malaysia-headquartered AirAsia and Tata Sons.
Tata Trusts, which owns 66% stake in Tata Sons, have also established a Committee of Trustees with immediate effect, comprising Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Trusts; Vijay Singh and Venu Srinivasan, Vice-Chairmen of the Trusts, to oversee the operations and to select a Chief Executive for the Trusts. Noel Tata has been appointed as the trustee of Sir Ratan Tata Trust along with Jehangir HC, who is currently spearheading the healthcare mission at the Jehangir Hospital, Pune. With this, Noel is the third brother to be a part of the board. Ratan’s younger brother, Jimmy, has been a trustee for almost 30 years now. Noel’s entry into the board of Tata Trusts, which controls the Tata Group, has now sparked speculations on if he could be the successor to the current chairman.
Born to Naval Tata and Simone Tata in 1957, Indian businessman Noel Tata is the half-brother of Ratan and Jimmy. He is currently the Chairman of the Tata Investment Corporation and Trent Limited, as also the Managing Director of Tata International. Having completed his bachelor’s degree from the University of Sussex and the INSEAD Business School in France, he started off at the Tata International, which offered Tata Group’s products and services in foreign countries. In 1999, he was appointed as MD of Trent Ltd, an arm of the Tata Group started by his mother. Noel is also credited with turning the Westside brand into a profitable venture after it was acquired by the Tata Group. In 2003, Noel also took over as the Director, Titan Industries and Voltas. He is married to Aloo Mistry, the daughter of Palonji Mistry.