According to news from the Wall Street Journal this morning, the new Chairman of mega conglomerate Tata Group announced in a letter to employees his company's intentions to invest some $8.3 billion over the next two years. According to the report by Santanu Choudhury, the investments will be broadly dispersed across Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Latin America.
Cyrus Mistry (left), who took over for legendary businessman Ratan Tata, offered this with regard to the investment climate there in India:
"The recent emphasis on policy clarity and a renewed thrust to economic reforms by the Government of India is encouraging. With a sustained focus on policy stability and implementation, I believe that India would continue to be an attractive investment destination."
Tata Group owns some 100 plus companies worldwide already including legendary auto maker Jaguar, and
It seems safe to assume at least some of this new investment will be earmarked for real estate, given the group's past interest in the sector. The conglomerate has Tata Realty and Infrastructure Limited and Tata Housing Development Company Ltd., as well as several key investment arms in the real estate space.
Just last month Tata Housing announced the expansion of developments for affordable housing in India via "Smart Value Homes Limited forays into Bengaluru", and high end real estate ventures have been in the news for Tata of late as well. On the demand side of the real estate equation in India, the New York Times reported last month on a coming construction boom fueled by the lack of appropriate real estate space for International brands like Walmart to expand into there. The point being, there is little quality commercial space in all India for stores to take up business in. New construction would seem a logical investment avenue for any conglomerate.
Tata has almost half a million employees worldwide, and one of the most valuable brands in the world. It remains to be seen what path the new CEO will blaze to extend the empire Ratan Tata created. Manufacturing to services and beyond, $8 billion almost seems like a puny sum when all Tata's assets are weighed. Still, forward momentum is always positive news.