Cyrus Mistry is 44 (Ratan Tata was 54 in 1991 when he took the mantle at Bombay House).
He has an engineering degree from the Imperial College, London, (1990) and a masters in management from the London School of Business.
Mistry joined the board of Shapoorji Pallonji & Co-a firm that his grandfather founded-as director in 1991. Three years later he was appointed managing director of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group.
Under him, Shapoorji Pallonji's construction business grew from a turnover of $20 million to almost $1.5 billion.
Mistry oversaw the diversification of Shapoorji Pallonji & Co from construction to design and building of complex projects in the marine, oil and gas and rail sectors. The group employs over 23,000 people and has a presence in India, the Middle East and Africa. Thus he has experience in construction, entertainment, power and finance.
He has served on the board of Tata Sons as director for five years; was also member on Tata Elxsi and Tata Power boards. He was also a senior vice-president of production, DQ Entertainment.
He is the sixth chairman of the Tata group, after Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, Sir Dorab Tata, Sir Nowroji Saklatwala, JRD Tata and Ratan Tata. Mistry is the second of them to not have Tata name.
With about 18 percent stake, Shapoorji Pallonji Group is the largest shareholder in Tata Sons. Mistry thus also represents the largest shareholder of Tata Sons.
Mistry's sister Aloo is married to Ratan Tata's half-brother Noel Tata, who himself was a contender for the coveted chairman's post.
As chairman, he is to head a group with presence in more than 80 countries across six continents with exports to 85 countries. It has seven core areas of businesses such as information systems & communications, engineering, materials, services, energy, chemicals and consumer products.
The group's turnover as of now is Rs 475,721 crore or $100.09 billion, of which 58 percent comes from overseas.
The group has 32 companies publicly listed and has a combined market capitalisation of about $88.82 billion and a shareholder base of 3.8 million. It has over 450,000 employees.
When Ratan Tata took over as the chairman in 1991, the group had a turnover of $10 billion.
Mistry was chosen by a five-member selection committee, whose members include Lord Sushanta Kumar Bhattacharyya who runs Warwick Manufacturing, lawyer Shirin Bharucha, and N.A. Soonawala, vice-chairman of Tata Sons.
Apart from Noel, other contenders to the post included NR Narayana Murthy, Founder and Chief Mentor, Infosys, and Indra Nooyi, CEO, Pepsico.
The TCS annual report 2011 shows Mistry's holding in TCS is higher than that of Ratan Tata, who holds around 1.5 million shares.
He stays in a sea-facing house, also inhabited by his father and elder brother, Shapoor Mistry, in upscale Malabar Hill.
He is married to Rohika, daughter of legal luminary Iqbal Chagla.
Mistry loves horse-riding and is an avid golfer.
With inputs from agencies