India's Tata to invest $35bn over next three years

Cyrus Mistry Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Cyrus Mistry took over as chairman of the group from Ratan Tata in December 2012

The Tata conglomerate, India's biggest business group, has said it will invest $35bn (£20.7bn) over the next three years in areas including retail and defence.

The expansion plans were unveiled by chairman Cyrus Mistry at an internal meeting this week and confirmed via an emailed statement.

Tata has more than 100 companies, including Tata Motors and Tata Steel.

The global investment plans come amid a sluggish economic environment in India.

Tata said it was creating a special focus on four new clusters, including defence and aerospace, retail, infrastructure and finance.

The group's statement said its new growth project, dubbed Vision 2025, would see it become one of "the 25 most admired corporate and employer brands globally, with a market capitalisation comparable to the 25 most valuable companies in the world".

The conglomerate would not share any further details of its internal meeting, but said its new plans would see it "strongly champion companies which are world class and, where necessary, facilitate creation of new companies".

"This holistic strategy will also include support to companies, if required, to restructure their businesses which do not have the potential to meet performance," the statement said.

New leadership

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption In recent months, Tata Motors has seen its sales fall for the first time in 12 years

Mr Mistry, who took over as the group's chairman in December 2012, has to date kept a relatively low profile since taking the helm.

His predecessor, Ratan Tata, was chairman of the conglomerate for more than 20 years and is one of India's most internationally-recognised business leaders.

The Mumbai-based group has been looking for new growth avenues as some of its key businesses struggle.

Tata Motors, India's top truckmaker, has seen its sales fall in recent months for the first time in 12 years.

A slowing economy and high interest rates have kept customers away, and this is likely to hit its earnings results when they are presented in August.

And in May this year, Tata Steel, one of the world's biggest steelmakers, posted a net loss in its fourth quarter, blaming weakness in Europe.

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