From Pune shop floor, Ratan Tata bids goodbye


Avoiding a public handover and media fuss, Ratan Naval Tata handed over the reins of the Rs 4,75,652-crore Tata business empire to Cyrus Mistry on Friday, after two decades at the top. Tata was in Pune instead, spending his 75th birthday at the Tata Motors plant.

"At the request of the union, I spent my last day prior to retirement in the Tata Motors's various manufacturing facilities at Pune to say farewell to my shop-floor colleagues. We have been together in good times and bad... I will always carry memories of this day with me through the rest of my life," Tata tweeted in the evening. "Going through the plants and receiving greetings from so many colleagues is a great emotional experience. I have been deeply moved by the sincerity and the spontaneity of their greetings," he wrote, signing off as 'former chairman of Tata group'.

The initiative for the visit came from the union. The workers had requested Tata to visit the plant on his birthday, December 28. He had assured them that irrespective of his commitments, he would be there for some time. As it turned out, he was there at the plant in Pimpri-Chinchwad from 9 in the morning to about 3 pm.

"Bhav-vibhor ho gaye thae meeting mein (He got emotional at the meeting)," Tata Motors Employees' Union member Shishupal Sinha said. "He also had lunch in the canteen." Tata Group spokesperson Debasis Ray, however, played down the visit, saying Tata visits the Pune facility every year during this time.

One of the employees of the Engineering Research Centre (ERC) at the Pimpri facility said, "Almost every common staff member wanted to shake hands with the man they have been taking inspiration from... As the car halted in front of the ERC block ,Tata was greeted with gifts, flowers and even a portrait made by one of the employees."

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