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