NEW DELHI: Tata Sons Chairman N. Chandrasekaran has been honoured with France’s highest order of merit, Legion d’Honneur, for bolstering relations and building business between India and France. The award was conferred on Chandrasekaran, 59, on Tuesday at the Foreign Ministry in Paris by Minister Catherine Colonna, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs.
He was accompanied by his wife Lalitha and son Pranav. “Tata Group is a major player in the Franco-Indian partnership: I had the pleasure of presenting its CEO, on behalf of the President of the Republic, with the insignia of Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur. Dear Natarajan Chandrasekaran, you are a friend of France,” Colonna tweeted after presenting the award.
“Dear Natarajan Chandrasekaran, you are a true friend of France,” Ambassador of France to India, Emmanuel Lenain tweeted. The Legion of Honour is the highest French order of merit, both civil and military. It was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte. France is one of India’s largest scientific partners, with over 25 R&D centres, 15 joint Indo-French research laboratories, and 500 collaborative projects in the country.
There are currently 10 Tata group companies operating in France, according to Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI) Director General Payal S. Kanwar.
“The Tata family has deep-rooted ties with France right from JRD Tata who was half French and born in Paris to Simone Tata who was incidentally one of the founders of IFCCI. The recent historic order of 250 Airbus A320neos and A350s along with 800 Safran motors for Air India has further boosted business between both countries!” Kanwar wrote on her Instagram.
Last year, Chandrasekaran got a five-year extension as the chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company and promoter of more than 100 Tata operating companies with aggregate annual revenues of more than $100 billion.
He also chairs the boards of several group operating companies, including Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Power, Tata Global Beverages, Indian Hotels Company and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), of which he was chief executive from 2009-17.
In addition to his professional career at Tata, Chandra was also appointed as a director on the board of India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, in 2016.
He was appointed on the International Advisory Council of Singapore’s Economic Development Board in 2018.