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MUMBAI: Bombay House, the iconic headquarters of the $100-billion Tata Group, saw a quiet change of guard on Friday when 44-year-old Cyrus Pallonji Mistry, in a black trouser and a pale blue shirt, walked in at around 9.30 am to take over as the group's chairman.

Mistry appeared unassuming as he stepped out of his black Indigo Manza. With shirt sleeves rolled up, the sixth chairman of the 144-year-old group exuded a sense of conviction of wanting to get down to work immediately. And why not, a warm-up of one year as deputy chairman was long enough for Mistry to break into a sprint. Mistry had a long day at work and left his office at around 7.30 pm.

The younger son of construction tycoon Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry - the Mistrys are the single largest shareholders in Tata Sons with a stake of around 18% - was being groomed for one year for the big day. Noticeably, there was no accompanying fanfare. The rigour put in by Mistry over the last one year made Friday appear like any other normal working day. "Mistry has been coming to office every day. As such there was nothing new about Friday," said an insider, indicating that the new chairman had already got into the act, making the 'handover' seem more like a formality.



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