Emotional goodbye to Tata at last AGM in city
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Emotional shareholders greeted Ratan Tata with bouquets and gifts at the 73rd annual general meeting (AGM) of Tata Chemicals, Tata's last AGM in Mumbai. Tata, who has been chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Chemicals since 1991, and has chaired several hundred AGMs, could just about manage to hold back his tears.
Shareholers gave Tata a standing ovation and thanked him for creating wealth for them over the years. Blinking back tears, Tata responded, "I think everybody who comes to the end of his career wants to be able to cherish his experiences and over the years one can have good or bad experiences. But it's a wonderful thing to have it end as happy, as positive, as warm a manner as today has been and so, to that, I would like to thank all of you."
Praising Tata's tireless effort to take the Tata Group to where it is, several shareholders asked for a Bharat Ratna for him; another suggested to the government to issue a stamp on his 75th birthday on December 28, 2012. Some others thought a wax statue at Madame Tussauds would be in order.
Tata greeted several shareholders who went up to the podium to express their gratitude. A shareholder gifted him a photograph of himself (Tata's); Tata promised him he would frame and keep it at his home.
"It has been my very great priviledge to face you and be with you over these years and today has been a very emotional day for me because I never expected this kind of warmth and the kind of affection that has been displayed," Tata said. In the 21 years that Tata has been at the helm, Tata Chemicals's revenue has soared to $ 83 billion.
When some shareholders asked for bonus shares as a parting gift, Tata replied wittily, "You may remember me for my stinginess but may look forward to Mr Mistry for his magnanimity." Cyrus Mistry, deputy chairman, Tata Sons, will take over from Ratan Tata in December 2012.
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