Ad Here  
Music happens Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Tatas moving out of urea production... Airlines in India: cost and space Building loyalty through the stomach How Air-India loses customs... London, London Narayan The Swadeshi Trump More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Adharma of opposition politics Mersal magnified Cutting the nose to spite the face Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Road development slows down Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria IPL - no surprise this scam CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Why this malaise in medical education? Quality education through the PPP mode Nuclear power at the nucleus There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Tough task taking states together When the President was rendered homeless… Align crops to agro climate endowments… Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Medical costs hit the roof... Vibrant Gujarat For whom the bell tolls? Should we change the official year? Solar thermal shines… The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Telangana in top gear… S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist The rise and rise of KCP Haul over the coal GM Technology at last! Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... EVM is tamper-proof Where is Rajaji? Towards speedy justice Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Sweeter prospects for sugar Make standards certification mandatory... Sri Lanka votes for change Protest masters... Muffled voices for merit… Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Come elections, come advertisements... Delhi returns to BJP Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Mu Sigma – is no more Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Shale gas and its shallow future Editor's Notes A think tank for Chennai Valli, they are more marginalised TGS- The king storyteller PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Tribute – M V Murugappan Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Lalu’s envy, India’s pride to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines The star of Spencers is no more A proud Madrasi The balancing act Modi and the lady Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Robber barons everywhere Contrarian cousins Discoms deserve better… Plummeting profits of PSBs When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Streamlining mandatory third party cover IAS invades NDDB... Rahman at CIC Demise of a media baron... A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Why land prices zoom in TN? A yen for wastage… Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Alexa – Talking Wikipedia PC’s preference for professionals The Gulf aviation boom Breaththrough in malaria control Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Another Indian music maestro at the UN Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Poor quality of university VCs Shanti and Sadhana through Music Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Kudos to NDTV... Russi Mody – a tribute Pharma – overdose of copying Tribute A professional at the helm of IRDA... Don’t seem to feel the pulse… A more liberated TN… Preserving for the future TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership When online building permits work…. Fuel for thought Welcome focus on core competence A friendly business group Engineering seats go abegging WTO Meet: resolved to meet again This scant respect for Law Gas is the way forward TIAM turns a full cycle Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Noble nonagenarians... Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Sweet news for TN sugar mills Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Banning booze... Auto components surge… L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… The why of tax incentives More tributes to GR West Bengal: mindless malignancy S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal The brown list of Venkitaramanan Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Kinetic Karnataka Editor's Says Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Maximising the micro pricing … A glass full of corruption The few handicaps... TELANGANA at last…BUT Intellectual of rare qualities EEC at the National Media Centre Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet The power-full Hindujas When small is no larger beautiful.. Secularism and anti-Hinduism Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health …and of a popular trade leader More heat than light No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Things happen by accident and not by design... Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Quality silica from Neyveli Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Tatas moving out of urea production... No engine for this car CII projects higher growth… MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Small units prefers to remain small... Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... He saved millions from starvation... Revving up the manufacturing sector Delhi is distant… Revive development banks... When Ratan Tata visited SRM CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Solar, solar everywhere … Waning interest in public discussions… GNS - 100: our first subscriber A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Parliament in paralysis... Kulandai was a giant China invests in India Modi storms Silicon Valley Multi-faceted Venkat Polls and promises Strengthen the base... Fortune for Indian Airlines R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Gay abandon in pricing Silver Years of Madras Musings Fortune 500 review All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya No Maha Koottani in TN... Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Shipping woes of Chennai companies Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks B H Kothari - a tribute SoA @ 80 TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Readers' Mail The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Where a state respects its litterateurs… A welcome initiative by the judiciary Paytm karo... Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… The nuclear option An enemy’s enemy is a friend Put expensive assets created to use... Five star activism stalls development activity An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Welcome GST Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Return to king coal for urea... The Jan Dhan bonanza The rise and fall of Annamalai University Delhi is distant Convulsions in The Hindu The sea- saw battle continues... Delhi Chalo... For whom the MIDS bell tolls? IPL type auction for VCs? Tax agriculture Boy, can you beat these? Build close rapport with business leaders When nations steal growth from one another… Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Cement prices continue to rise… Moily’s bold thrust Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Making ‘my Amaravati’... An inexplicable neglect Which side are you, Montek? Roaring Ro-Ro facility Funding the un-funded The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Wise Presidents Wanted: a second airport for Chennai ONGC at KG Basin Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing He continues the focus on social amelioration More Shakthi to Das’ elbow
Tatas moving out of urea production...
Remember the massive restructuring done by Ratan Tata soon after he took charge in 1990s?  Making use of the opening up of the economy,  he focussed on brand consolidation and on a few key sectors and phased out other businesses. He inducted a younger team of professionals and set age limits for directors and also to expand investments overseas. The group recorded spectacular growth in the areas selected for focus like IT, steel and automobiles 
Cyrus Mistry, who succeeded Ratan Tata three years ago, is attempting further consolidation. The group is expanding priority to civil aviation, defence production, and aeronautics. The losses incurred by Corus Steel consequent upon the meltdown of the global steel industry, has led to the bold decision to sell it off and concentrate on the domestic market. 
In yet another major decision Tata Chemicals plans to vacate urea production. The company expanded into this field by setting up a large capacity ammonia-urea plant at Babrala in U.P based on gas conveyed through the HBJ pipeline.  TCL’s urea plant is among the most energy-efficient fertilizer plants with annual production of 12 lakh tonnes of urea. The operations have been quite profitable. Revenues during 2015-16 were at $ 350 million with after-tax profits of $ 35 million. 
However, in line with the other urea plants, the Babrala unit has also been suffering from the humongous delays in the settlement of subsidies. The continuance of the control over urea prices has been a major irritant for the industry. Recently, Tata Chemicals decided to sell the urea plant to Yara International ASA of Norway for $ 400 million (around Rs 2670 crore). 
I have had occasions to visit the Babrala plant a couple of times. I have been deeply impressed with the excellent extension work done by the company. The company has been extending a vast range of services through the Tata Kisan Sansar outlets making great use of technology, information, and management techniques. At Babrala, the company, along with TCS and Tata Telecom, set up a highly sophisticated centre to provide a broad range of information to farmers spread across several north Indian states. The TKS outlets in themselves provide a vast variety of services. The impact was indeed spectacular: I remember the ease with which the company assisted farmers to switch from traditional varieties of rice to basmati rice cultivation bringing about handsome increases in farm incomes. 
However, the neglect of this vital fertilizer sector for long with an irrational subsidy system and delayed settlement of agreed subsidies in a regime that professes freedom from controls should have forced this decision on the Tatas. 
For quite some time, Tatas are also appear to be concerned about the intense competition and constraints for growth impacting Tata Telecom. One may not be surprised if the group decides to vacate this space as well. 
Tata Chemicals has retained the phosphoric fertilizer unit at Haldia. Rallis India Ltd, another Tata unit, may continue to focus on the agriculture sector. 
Author :
Reported On :
Sector :
IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
Read more
Economist Communications Ltd is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
Read more
You agree that your use of this Website and the purchase of the magazine will be governed by these terms and conditions.
Read more
S-15, Industrial Estate,
Chennai - 600 032.
PHONE: +91 44 22501236