Noel Tata
Noel Tata joins Tata Trusts boardDIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images

In a move that has created quite a buzz in the industry, Tata Trusts has appointed Ratan Tata's half-brother Noel Tata on the board. 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.

Rumours of Noel being inducted into the board have been going on for a while and the Economic Times had earlier reported that NA Soonawala, who is known to be close to Ratan, also supported the idea of bringing Noel on board. It is believed that this is the company's way of ensuring that control of the company remains within the Tata family.

Speaking of Noel's appointment, a senior executive in the company said that this was one of the several appointments that would happen in "due course." "These are the individuals that the Trusts expect to benefit from, thanks to their vast experience," ET quoted the executive as saying.

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.

Who is Noel Tata?

  1. Noel Naval Tata is an Indian businessman, who serves as the chairman of the Tata Investment Corporation and Trent Limited. He is also the managing director of Tata International.
  2. Born in 1957, Noel is the son of Naval Tata and Simone Tata and is the half-brother of Ratan and Jimmy.
  3. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Sussex, after which he went to the INSEAD business school in France.
  4. He started off at Tata International, which offered Tata Group's products and services in foreign countries.
  5. In 1999, he was appointed as the managing director of Trent Ltd, an arm of the Tata Group that was started by his mother.
  6. After the Tata Group acquired Lilewoods International — changing its name to Westside — Noel is credited with turning the brand into a profitable venture.
  7. In 2003, Noel also took over as the director of Titan Industries and Voltas and experts believed that he was being groomed to succeed Ratan as the head of the group.
  8. He is married to Aloo Mistry, the daughter of Palonji Mistry.

While the Tata Group announced the appointment of Noel, it also said that R Venkataramanan had resigned as the managing trustee of the group. In a press release that came out late on Wednesday, February 13, the group said that it had "regretfully accepted" Venkataramanan resignation and that he would be relieved from his duties on March 31.

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.