Trent elevates Noel Tata as chairman

Tata group’s public-listed retail company Trent Ltd, which operates retail chains like Star Bazaar and Westside, has appointed Noel Naval Tata, vice-chairman of Trent and managing director of Tata International, as chairman of Trent, according to disclosure filed on the BSE. 

Noel Tata, son of Naval H Tata and Simone N Tata, will replace FK Kavarana, who has been chairman of Trent since 2006. 

Kavarana stepped down from the company’s board of directors on March 30 and Tata took on his new role immediately, Trent said in a statement to BSE. 

Shares of Trent were trading at Rs 1,024.30 per share, up 0.85 per cent on the BSE from their previous close amid a flat Mumbai market. 

Prior to joining Tata International, Noel Tata - a graduate of Sussex University (UK) and IEP (INSEAD) -  worked with Trent, Nestle (UK), and Tata Exports (now Tata International). 

Noel Tata also serves as a director of various Tata companies, including Voltas and Titan Industries as well as member of the Tata Investment Corporations Investment Committee and Remuneration Committee. He is  also the chairman of the Africa Committee of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and a director of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry. 

In 2013, the consolidated turnover of Trent rose to Rs 1,932 crore compared with Rs 8 crore in 1999. 

Established in 1998 as part of the Tata Group, Trent presently operates Westside, a fast growing chain of retail stores. The company has 74 Westside departmental stores. 

Trent ventured into the hypermarket business in 2004 with Star Bazaar. This store offers customers an array of products that include staple foods, beverages, health and beauty products, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, consumer electronics and household items. Star Bazaar also includes a large range of fashionable in-house garments for men, women and children. Trent also owns majority stake in Landmark, a books and music retail chain. 

On March 21, UK-based retail giant Tesco Plc signed a pact with Trent to form an equal joint venture by picking up 50 per cent equity stake in hypermarket retail firm Trent Hypermarket Ltd (THL), which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trent and operates under the Star Bazaar brand, for around Rs 850 crore ($140 million). 

The foreign investment promotion board gave its approval to the proposal in December last year. 

At present, THL operates 16 stores across the southern and western regions of India. The proposed partnership will operate and build on the existing portfolio of Star Bazaar stores in Maharashtra and Karnataka.  

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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