Natarajan Chandrasekaran is Chairman of the Board of Tata Sons, the holding company and promoter of one of India’s leading multinational companies. This week his contributions to strengthen the trade relationship between India and France was recognised in the form of France's highest civilian award, Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur.
French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna handed the award to Chandrasekaran on behalf of French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, where he was joined by wife Lalitha and son Pranav.
“The 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 Légion d'honneur. Dear Natarajan Chandrasekaran, you are a friend of France,” said Colonna.
The Tata-owned Air India recently inked a multi-billion-dollar deal with Airbus to buy 250 aircraft from the French-headquartered giant, which included 210 A320 neo planes and 40 A350 aircraft.
Chandrasekaran has a long association with the Tata Group, having joined the Board of Tata Sons in October 2016 and appointed Chairman in January 2017. Chandra, as he is known, also chairs the Boards of several group operating companies, including Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Power, and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) – of which he was Chief Executive Officer from 2009-17. His appointment as Chairman followed a 30-year business career at TCS, which he joined from university and rose through the ranks at TCS to become CEO and Managing Director of the leading global IT solution and consulting firm.
He is also an active member of India’s bilateral business forums including the US, UK, Australia and Japan. He served as the chairman of NASSCOM, the apex trade body for IT services firms in India in 2012-13. His business leadership has been recognised by several corporate and community organisations, and he has received numerous awards.
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Mumbai-based Chandra, also a long-distance marathon runner, has been awarded several honorary doctorates by leading universities in India and internationally. He attended the Regional Engineering College, Trichy in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, where he completed a Master’s in Computer Applications.