Days ahead of Ratan Tata's retirement, an Assocham survey said that the $100 billion Tata Group is perceived to be India's best-known global brand within and outside the country.
"Ratan Tata occupies the well-deserved iconic status who has taken the group from largely an Indian family-owned business house into a professionally managed global conglomerate," the survey said.
About 77 per cent of those who participated in the survey said they are confident that Ratan Tata's successor Cyrus Mistry will be able to steer the group well, it said.
Assocham said it has surveyed about 78 top CEOs and heads of both domestic and foreign companies in the first fortnight of December.
The survey, it said, was conducted not only in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad, but also in London, New York and Singapore.
However, the respondents said the biggest challenge for Mr Mistry would be to ensure that the Tata companies are able to sail through the global slowdown, since the group operates in some 80 countries, several of which are in the grip of difficult times.
The group has interests in steel, automobile, chemicals, telecommunication, information technology, beverages and hospitality, among other areas.
"The Tata story which began in 1868 by Jamsetji N Tata has been the most successful among India Inc. The role played by Mr Ratan Tata and Mr JRD Tata in making the group truly global has been deservedly recognised all over the world," Assocham president Rajkumar N Dhoot said.
Infosys Technologies, Wipro, Mahindra and Mahindra and Aditya Birla Group were the other major Indian corporate houses listed to have made their mark on the global business landscape, the survey said.
However, it said, the brand Tata stood out among all the top Indian corporates and perceived as the truly international brand.
It said while the change of guard at the Bombay House, the headquarters of the Tatas later this month, is on the corporate calendar and the event would go down as a landmark occasion among the most watched for several years.
Ratan Tata, after being at the helms of affairs for 21 years at Tata Sons, the holding company of the group, will be retiring on December 28.
The survey said emergence of TCS as India's number one software export company with a turnover of $10 billion, launch of the Nano car in 2009, takeover of Anglo-Dutch company Corus (renamed as Tata Steel Europe) and acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover from Fort Motor Company in 2008 have gone down as the major milestones for the group. Talking about the group's perception outside India, it stated that the best perception for the Tata was seen in western Europe, followed by the US and the South-East Asia.
"The recent acquisitions and turnaround of Jaguar Land Rover even in the difficult business made quite a difference in the brand perception," it said. Besides making bold business decisions and running the businesses professionally, one of the hallmarks of the group has been its ethical business practices, the survey said.
"It requires a lot of courage and guts to remain steadfast in a business environment, which we find, is often mired in controversies. This is one group anyone in the world can bet on," Mr Dhoot said.
The survey said Mahindra and Mahindra and Infosys Technologies were rated quite high among the Indian corporates, known for their courageous global moves.