Ad Here  
Engineering seats go abegging Paytm karo... A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Vibrant Gujarat Valli, they are more marginalised Quality silica from Neyveli Five star activism stalls development activity Which side are you, Montek? Pharma – overdose of copying Modi and the lady Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways The star of Spencers is no more Haul over the coal Nuclear power at the nucleus Why this malaise in medical education? IPL - no surprise this scam Adharma of opposition politics Delhi Chalo... The Swadeshi Trump Robber barons everywhere Boy, can you beat these? L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… IPL type auction for VCs? Towards speedy justice Sweet news for TN sugar mills Revving up the manufacturing sector The rise and rise of KCP Cement prices continue to rise… EVM is tamper-proof Things happen by accident and not by design... CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Telangana in top gear… Welcome focus on core competence A proud Madrasi TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Polls and promises Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? More heat than light Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Alexa – Talking Wikipedia …and of a popular trade leader GM Technology at last! Waning interest in public discussions… Don’t seem to feel the pulse… No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna This scant respect for Law The brown list of Venkitaramanan Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara No Maha Koottani in TN... Tatas moving out of urea production... Build close rapport with business leaders Fortune 500 review TIAM turns a full cycle Tribute – M V Murugappan A think tank for Chennai The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Shipping woes of Chennai companies Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Parliament in paralysis... Kudos to NDTV... Auto components surge… Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Maximising the micro pricing … Silver Years of Madras Musings Muffled voices for merit… Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Multi-faceted Venkat The power-full Hindujas Another Indian music maestro at the UN How Air-India loses customs... TGS- The king storyteller When nations steal growth from one another… The Jan Dhan bonanza Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Where a state respects its litterateurs… Recognition to role of NBFCs.... The few handicaps... Where is Rajaji? Should we change the official year? TELANGANA at last…BUT Breaththrough in malaria control Tribute For whom the bell tolls? Tax agriculture Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks The nuclear option Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Cutting the nose to spite the face Put expensive assets created to use... The rise and fall of Annamalai University Fortune for Indian Airlines PC’s preference for professionals Intellectual of rare qualities Road development slows down Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Of course, Gujarat is vibrant IAS invades NDDB... Editor's Says F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai The balancing act Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Align crops to agro climate endowments… Gas is the way forward Quality education through the PPP mode Kulandai was a giant Banning booze... Protest masters... S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities B H Kothari - a tribute Mersal magnified Readers' Mail Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Poor quality of university VCs Discoms deserve better… Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... A welcome initiative by the judiciary Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Why land prices zoom in TN? A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science 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 ONGC at KG Basin Sweeter prospects for sugar Making ‘my Amaravati’... Solar thermal shines… When online building permits work…. There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Lalu’s envy, India’s pride The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more West Bengal: mindless malignancy Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Airlines in India: cost and space More tributes to GR Fuel for thought Editor's Notes CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Tatas moving out of urea production... Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Preserving for the future Moily’s bold thrust When the President was rendered homeless… Streamlining mandatory third party cover Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Roaring Ro-Ro facility Gay abandon in pricing Delhi is distant… Shale gas and its shallow future Noble nonagenarians... Delhi is distant Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Demise of a media baron... All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya A yen for wastage… EEC at the National Media Centre China invests in India Music happens Return to king coal for urea... Make standards certification mandatory... Modi storms Silicon Valley Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Convulsions in The Hindu CII projects higher growth… Sri Lanka votes for change The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Contrarian cousins When Ratan Tata visited SRM A more liberated TN… Medical costs hit the roof... Come elections, come advertisements... Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Small units prefers to remain small... Tough task taking states together No engine for this car Solar, solar everywhere … TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Wise Presidents Permanent secretariat for TN GIM When small is no larger beautiful.. A professional at the helm of IRDA... More Shakthi to Das’ elbow When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... More Shakti to resource mobilisation... London, London Narayan Building loyalty through the stomach S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist He continues the focus on social amelioration An enemy’s enemy is a friend PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals SoA @ 80 Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Revive development banks... L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated GNS - 100: our first subscriber Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Shanti and Sadhana through Music Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Kinetic Karnataka Mu Sigma – is no more Strengthen the base... Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Secularism and anti-Hinduism R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Welcome GST For whom the MIDS bell tolls? The why of tax incentives He saved millions from starvation... A glass full of corruption Rahman at CIC Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V A friendly business group The sea- saw battle continues... Plummeting profits of PSBs An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... An inexplicable neglect Delhi returns to BJP The Gulf aviation boom Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Funding the un-funded Russi Mody – a tribute
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 :
Shoulder :
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