Top B-schools to use ‘Cyrus Mistry vs Ratan Tata’ feud as an MBA case study

Find out how top B-schools will use Cyrus Mistry vs Ratan Tata’ feud as case study in their MBA programme at

Top B-schools
Top B-schools

As the boardroom war of the Tata Group moves to the courtroom; the ‘Cyrus Mistry vs Ratan Tata’ feud if far from over. However, it has provided some very interesting insights for the aspiring CEOs and young entrepreneurs studying at top b-schools in India. In fact, many top MBA Colleges have recognized the impact of this case on the business world and are planned to use the on-going tug of war at Tata Group as an active case study to help the young MBA graduates understand the basic tenets of management.

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According to many management pundits, the sudden ouster of Tata Sons chairman and the on-going tiff within one of India’s biggest business conglomerates covers all the management basics that need to be taught to MBA students. Right from core concepts such as corporate governance, succession planning, ownership rights and conflict management; the case has everything that an interesting MBA case study need.

Below, we have listed down some key teaching points that students may find in their next year’s curriculum with regards to the still developing ‘curious case’ of Tata Sons internal war.

IIM Bangalore is always known among the MBA aspirants as a B-school in sync with the times that we live in. Living up to that expectation, the varsity’s corporate strategy and policy professor Mr Ramachandran J has decided to incorporate the Tata vs. Mistry case in his classroom teaching. He would be focusing upon highlighting the key difference between the ownership rights and managerial rights in a listed firm. He emphasised that ownership rights don’t directly translate to managerial rights in the corporate world, which is the key learning from this case for MBA students.

Further elaborating upon the topic, Mr Ramachandran said that he plans to use the case to demonstrate the difference between a business group company and a conglomerate. In addition to this, his MBA case study would also focus on the impact of the removal of a board member from chairman’s post but not from the board itself in a group company such as Tata Sons.    

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Not much behind IIM-B, IIM Calcutta’s strategic management professor plans on using the Tata Sons case as a critique on the responsibilities of the chairman. His MBA case study on this feud would focus Cyrus Mistry’s sole focus upon the business strategy for the group while putting the task of building the business identity for the group on a back-burner. This is something that top leadership must look into before appointing someone to the top post.

ISB has a special branch of Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise which offers a dedicated MBA programme on family business. ISB’s TSCFE executive director has shown a keen interest in incorporate the key learning’s from the Tata Group case in their MFAB programme. The key topics that they are looking to include in this year’s curriculum are corporate governance, choosing a non-family CEO for firms and functioning of the board of directors.

Among the many takeaways, succession management has emerged as the key learning point from the on-going Tata vs. Mistry case for all B-schools in India. IIM Lucknow is planning to make this a central theme of its management programmes along with corporate governance, ethics vs. efficiency and management of economic value addition at top management.

MDI Gurgaon, which is listed alongside top MBA colleges in India, is planning to use the Tata Group’s internal fight as an opportunity to teach their students the importance of leadership and organizational culture in a firm. In addition to this, the case would also help the institute to demonstrate the vitality of mission and vision of an organization which is often ignored as corporate jargons by the students. As per MDI Gurgaon’s chairperson for strategic management, the institute would use the case to re-impose the importance of the fiduciary duty of the board and divestiture for a group owned organization.

As the Tata Group’s internal feud intensifies in courtrooms, it would be interesting to see, how the on-going case compliments the theoretical classroom knowledge that is served to the MBA students with some interesting live lessons, learning and examples.

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