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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My tête-à-tête with Mr. Alan Rosling: Arindom Chakraborty

It all started with a mail from our MD in the month of January, 08 about the opportunity to have dinner with Mr. Alan Rosling , Executive Director, Tata Sons , and the member of GCC. All one needs to do is to post a question on Tataworld site & some of them will be selected by Mr. Rosling himself for the event. So I posted my question on the site & in the month of April 08, I received a communication from Tata Sons that I have been selected for the event.

It was a moment of great joy as two years back I was also invited by Mr. Muthuraman, MD, Tata Steel for a similar event & representing our organisation at this forum is always a matter of pride & prestige.

My question to Mr. Rosling was...

First of all thank you & the group very much for giving us this opportunity. As we are aware that Tata group has taken the environmental issues & global warming very seriously & is planning a number of initiatives towards that. On the other hand growing expansion of steel plants, curtain raiser of Nano (I am sure that the emission will increase by many times as now almost every household will try to have one) & things like these will have surely have an adverse effect on global warming. My question to you is, how you are planning to keep this in balance to take it forward.

Mr. Rosling’s reply to the question was...

I'm delighted you asked that question. I've so far answered 55 questions before I get to a question on climate change, which must be one of the most critical issues facing us all. First let me say that we have come to this issue late, and are way behind others in understanding it and addressing it. The starting point is to realise that we are part of the problem, but can contribute to the solution. We must quickly assess what impact we are having on the environment, particularly through emissions of CO2. Next we need to identify a series of measures that can reduce this impact, both to achieve savings and to contribute to the mitigation of climate change. Then we need to figure out how to change our businesses and become part of the long term solution to these issues, through the creation of new technologies and businesses.

On 4th June I went to Mumbai. This time 7 persons across Tata group were invited & we were put in hotel Taj – President. There we all met together & really had some nice time together.

Mr. Rosling came to the hotel at around 7:30 pm and took us to Thai Pavilion restaurant. After the initial round of introduction, Mr. Rosling was very keen to know our perception about the group as a whole & the direction it should move towards. He expressed his concern about the greenhouse effect on our climate & then he shared some of the initiatives the group is taking to mitigate the same. He also spoke a great deal about the need of women’s involvement in the various spheres of life including top management of the organisation. We also shared our experience working in Tata group companies & what the group should do to stay ahead of competition.

He was very pleased to receive hundreds of questions from all over the world and really had to make an effort to choose 7 out of them. The discussion continued till 10:30 at night accompanied by some delicious Thai cuisines. The dinner was followed by a photo session & then he bade goodnight to all of us. It was quite an experience to spend the evening with a man of such stature who can be described as the Global face of Tata & I really looking forward to meet him again.

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