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A ringside view

Cyrus Mistry sat in his room at Bombay House mulling over tough decisions that had to be made, preferably at the board meeting that day - three years, 10 months and 7 days on the job - itself. A fraud had been discovered in the Air Asia joint venture; a five-year restructuring plan was also on the agenda. But resolution is never easy, especially if it involves shutting down businesses or selling assets.

Unexpected visitors came in - Ratan Tata and Nitin Nohria, a board member of Tata Sons. The latter was quick to the point: "Cyrus, as you know, the relationship between you and Ratan Tata has not been working." The choice? Quit or get fired. Mistry refused and was voted out of office. Thus does financial journalist Deepali Gupta set the tone for the dramatic events that were to follow.

Based on extensive interviews and emails of the key players, minutes of meetings and court records, Gupta reconstructs Mistry's rise and fall, taking the reader behind the facade of Tata Sons and its intertwined history with the construction tycoons of the Mistry family.

The dust might have settled but the issue is still in court as Mistry has appealed an NCLAT order upholding his sacking.

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