Mumbai: After committing billions of rupees in the overseas market, the Tata Group is going on a growth overdrive in the domestic market, earmarking Rs1.2 lakh crore for investments in the next 7-8 years.
“I don’t think we have neglected the domestic market...the boat must go where the tide is and we are investing in both, wherever it makes strategic and economic sense,” Tata Sons’ executive director R Gopalakrishnan told PTI here.
The Tata group is already a Rs1-lakh-crore conglomerate in India and has now embarked upon an investment of additional Rs1.2 lakh crore, the major focus of which will be on steel, power, auto and chemicals.
The group was said to be focusing more on its growth in the overseas market after it acquired Anglo-Dutch steel manufacturer Corus for $12.9 billion.
Apart from Corus, the group had acquired among others, Tetley, Daewoo, coal mines in Indonesia and a clutch of hotels abroad in the last few years.
The Tatas would be investing as much as Rs70,000 crore in steel, Rs20,000 crore in power, Rs12,000 crore in auto and Rs5,000 crore in chemicals, Gopalakrishnan said.
Another Rs12,000-15,000 crore has been set aside for business segments like IT, hospitality, retail and telecom, he added.
Gopalakrishnan said the Tata group is the only conglomerate which has been in business in India over the last 100 years and has been expanding all along.
“Two of our units are the oldest listed companies on the stock-exchange...other companies may be older but they have undergone ownership changes,” he said.
Tatas have remained among the top companies all along in the country and that every 20 years, the group has come out with “daring” announcements, latest being the plans to make a Rs1-lakh car, he said.
“Every 10-15-years, we do something daring which makes people think we are crazy. But we keep persisting till we become leaders,” he said.
Tatas have investments in practically all the major states in the country and in varied fields, Gopalakrishnan said.
The group’s investment in the steel sector includes setting up of greenfield projects in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa besides expansion of its existing plant in Jamshedpur.
In power, Gopalakrishnan said, the conglomerate had bagged the 4,000mw Mundra ultra mega power project (UMPP) and was in the process of setting up 3,000-4,000mw of power generation including in Maharashtra and Jharkhand.
The Tatas’ investments in the domestic steel sector will be more than its spend on the Corus acquisition.
It had not done such major investments in the past because of the shackles imposed by the then regulated regime in the country, Gopalakrishnan said.
In the auto sector, he said the investments were noteworthy. The group was committed to the Singur project in West Bengal and the Rs1-lakh car would be rolled out by end-2008, Gopalakrishnan said.
However, Tatas’, which made an aborted entry into aviation in the late 1990s, would not be looking at the sector for the time being, he said, adding it did not mean that the group would not enter at a later date.
In the late 1990s, the Tatas had proposed to enter aviation sector through a joint venture with Singapore Airlines but following failure to obtain regulatory approvals, the group abandoned the project.
The Tatas are the pioneer in the aviation industry and the late JRD Tata, known for his passion for flying, was associated with Air India for a number of years.
Group chairman Ratan Tata also has long been hinting at the possibility of entering the aviation business.