avanti finance

India’s startup ecosystem has been graced with the presence of a prolific high-networth individual in the form of Ratan Tata, the chairman emeritus of Tata Sons. But, the industrialist-turned-angel investor had been away from the scene due to ongoing executive challenges being faced by his $103 billion conglomerate. He is, however, now ready to return back to his usual investment activities this very month.

Talking about his journey as an investor, Ratan Tata said,

When I retired in 2012, I hit upon investing and interacting with startups as a new phase. I left the big business behind. I became excited by the innovation, passion. It stimulated me.

The last five months have put me forcibly in the older world. I long to be back in the startup community with a vigour. As of 23 February I’m back.

For the last five months, Tata has been investing all his time to handle challenges being faced due to Cyrus Mistry’s exit from Tata Sons. The company board first moved him from the position of Chairman and appointed his as the Director. But in October 2016, Mistry was removed from the company because the board was of the opinion that he had caused “enormous harm” to the Tata Group and his continuation at the company was “untenable.”

Yesterday, a general meeting held at Tata Sons completely ousted former chairman Cyrus Mistry’s involvement with the company. The said decision was reached after a majority of company shareholders voted on his removal as the director. Last month, TCS chief executive officer and managing director N Chandrasekaran has been named as the new Tata Sons Chairman. He’ll soon be assuming his responsibilities and has thanked Ratan Tata for the chairmanship.

Further, Tata also responded to numerous queries about protectionism and capital dumping at an event organized by Kalaari Capital. He is of the opinion that India should try and push to remain an open market. But we’d also require more regulatory intervention to curb unfair competition. Talking about the same, he said,

The regulators need to focus on areas where there is unfair competition, which is done to kill the newer startups but ensure that there is enough latitude and enough of a playing field that everyone has a chance.

Ratan Tata, who signed off from his responsibilities at Tata Sons in 2012, has transformed into a frequent angel investor. He has already led investments in both Indian and international startups, including Urban Ladder, Ola Cabs, Madrat Games, Nestaway, Niki.ai, and Snapdeal. Also, he has been looking to further his investment efforts a notch higher.

This period, full of cluster headaches and troubles, has given him some time off from the startup scene and now he plans to make his return with a rejuvenated outlook. His investment firm RNT Associates has joined hands with the University of California to float a venture capital fund. And he’ll probably be on the lookout of more innovative startups, to back them in his own capacity. You can, thus, witness reports of Ratan Tata courting startups for investment in the coming months.

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