Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata today said that his successor would neither be pro-Parsi nor anti-Parsi but should be the right person.
"The Tata Group is an Indian group and we should not be looking (at it) as a Parsi group. The successor should be the right person and anti-Parsi or pro-Parsi," he told shareholders at Tata Chemicals’ annual general meeting (AGM) in Mumbai.
The market was rife with speculation that the Tata Group’s successor will be from among the Parsi community. Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, who was born into a Parsi family, formed the Tata Group in the early years of the last century.
The $71-billion group has embarked on a global search for a successor to Ratan Tata, who turns 75 in December 2012. The conglomerate has an official policy of retirement at 75.
Ratan Tata has been the chairman of the group for almost 20 years now.
Last week, Tata Sons had said its board had fomed formed a selection committee comprising five members, including an external member, "to decide on a suitable successor".
The committee would look at candidates both within the organisation and outside.
The five-member search panel includes a former Tata Sons vice chairman NA Soonawala and two senior group directors RK Krishnakumar and Cyrus Mistry, and group adviser and lawyer Shirin Bharucha and influential British businessma Lord Bhattacharya.