Blog: Dean BestIndian business giant Ratan Tata lined up for Mondelez board role

Dean Best | 3 April 2013

One of India's highest-profile businessmen, Ratan Tata, looks set to join the board of global snacks giant Mondelez International, a company formed to exploit the potential of the emerging markets.

Mr Tata, part of the family that set up what has become Tata Group, one of India's largest conglomerates, has been put for election to the Mondelez board next month.

"Ratan is an outstanding candidate for our Board," Mondelez chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld said today (3 April). "A global citizen and accomplished innovator, Ratan's career achievements are truly impressive. His operating experience and marketing expertise, particularly in developing markets, will be terrific assets to our board and to Mondelez International."

The 75-year-old joined Tata Group in 1962 and rose to become chairman between 1991 and 2012, years in which the Indian firm became a true international name with acquisitions of UK companies like British Steel, Jaguar Land Rover and Tetley Tea.

It is Mr Tata's knowledge of emerging markets that would have attracted Mondelez. It already has a formidable position in India's confectionery market, with Cadbury the largest chocolate company in the country.

However, having him on the board should bolster Mondelez's attempts to shore up its position in India and perhaps give it insight to expand its business there in other countries. And, of course, Mr Tata could lend support to Mondelez's plans further afield.

Mondelez has faced questions on Wall Street about the potential of its businesses in emerging markets in recent months. In November, it said sales had come under pressure in two key developing economies, Brazil and Russia.

In February this year, Mondelez publicly insisted it could meet its target for 2013 organic revenue after sales recovered in the fourth quarter of 2012. Nevertheless, it has attracted some concern from the investment community, with some wanting more detail on how it plans to hit its forecasts.


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