The Tata Group, which pioneered air-conditioning in India much like it did with steel and commercial flights, is set to make Noel Tata the chairman of VoltasBSE 0.27 % next year as part of a succession plan at the white-goods company now led by Ishaat Hussain.
Noel Tata’s elevation as chairman after Hussain’s March 2018 retirement would also roughly coincide with the superannuation of Voltas managing director Sanjay Johri. Noel Tata will drive both the mainline air-conditioner business and the joint venture with Turkey’s Arçelik that allows the Mumbai-based company to expand into refrigerators, washing machines and microwave ovens.
Noel Tata already serves as a non-executive director on the Voltas board and leads the group’s retail business, Trent, as its chairman. For Johri’s job, two senior executives in the 63-year-old company are in the race. Pradeep Bakshi, president heading the air-conditioner businesss, and Anil George, president corporate affairs, are contenders for the MD position.