The Tata Tea/ULFA Story

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG008
Case Length : 09 Pages
Period : 1997-2001
Pub. Date : 2002
Teaching Note : Available
 Organization : Tata Tea, ULFA
Industry : Food and Beverage
Countries : India

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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A Scandal Unravels Contd...

In September 1997, the manager of Tata Tea's North India Plantation Division in Assam, S S Dogra (Dogra), was arrested on charges of 'aiding and abetting terrorism and assisting persons involved in waging war against the state.'

Charges were issued against the company's welfare officer Brojen Gogoi (Gogoi) also, who had accompanied Pranati to Bombay.

Dogra's arrest led to a controversy that soon engulfed many top names from India's corporate and political circles.

Ratan Tata, the CEO of Tata Tea's holding company, Tata Sons, rushed to Delhi to meet the then Assam chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta (Mahanta), Assam Chief Secretary V S Jafa (Jafa), the Union Home Secretary K Padmanabhaiah, the Home Minister Indrajit Gupta (Gupta) and the Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujaral (Gujaral).

Later, the issue was discussed at a meeting between Gujral, Mahanta and Gupta, as well as at a meeting of the United Front coalition's core group of leaders.

The Tata Tea-ULFA controversy brought to the attention of the rest of the country, what the Assam tea industry had had to live with over the last two decades - kidnappings, murders and extortion - both by the ULFA and National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) militants.

Background Note

Tata Tea is the second largest tea company in India, after Hindustan Lever Ltd. (HLL).

A part of the Tata group of companies1, Tata Tea was incorporated in 1962 as Tata Finlay Ltd. with a technical and financial collaboration with James Finlay & Co Glasgow, UK...

Excerpts >>

1] The Tata Group, one of the most reputed industrial houses in India, is into diverse businesses such as steel, automobiles, tea, information technology and chemicals. The two holding companies of these businesses, Tata Sons and Tata Industries, are held by the Tata family.


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