Tata Group

High-tech pivot

1 minute read

Founded in 1868, the Tata Group long ago cemented its place in India’s economy, its vast portfolio extending from steel, software, watches, subsea cables, and chemicals, to salt, grains, air-conditioners, fashion, and hotels. But as rivals have aggressively courted new businesses, it struggled to keep up with stiff competition. In 2017, after over a century of family management, N Chandrasekaran took over as chairman despite having no personal ties to the family—highly unusual when India’s business landscape is ruled by family succession plans. As chair, he has transformed the group by investing in tech manufacturing, AI, and semiconductor chips. In 2023 it became the first Indian company to assemble iPhones, and is building another plant. In September, Tata announced a partnership with Nvidia to develop an AI cloud in India. And this year, it announced plans for the country’s first major semiconductor manufacturing facility. The moves seem to be paying off: in February, Tata’s combined market capitalization reached a whopping $365 billion, more than the entire economy of India’s neighbor and rival, Pakistan.

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Write to Astha Rajvanshi at astha.rajvanshi@time.com