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Tata and Tesco tie-up puts shy family member in the spotlight

Family-owned Tata Group has joined forces with one of the world's leading international retailers in a deal that will see the Indian conglomerate modernise its hypermarket business.

Trent, the retail arm of the Tata Group, has agreed an exclusive franchise agreement with Tesco, the UK's leading retailer. Under the terms of the deal, Trent's Star Bazaar hypermarkets will be given access to Tesco's extensive retail expertise and technical capability including world class IT systems, processes and best practice management.

For its part, Tesco will get to open a cash-and-carry outlet in Mumbai, plus further distribution hubs in Bangalore and Delhi over the next couple of years. This is a coup for the UK business, which has been looking for a way to access India's growing retail market.

The deal has thrust Ratan Tata's media-shy half brother Noel (pictured) into the spotlight. Noel, Trent's managing director, earned his reputation by developing Trent's department store, Westside, from a single unprofitable shop to a chain of fourteen highly successful outlets. He is considered as a possible successor to group chairman Ratan.

"We are extremely excited about our association with Tesco. The franchise agreement will play an important role in our endeavour to offer a world class shopping experience to customers across the country," said Noel.

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