“We want to create a workplace that’s more collaborative, contemporary and youthful. The spirit of the group will remain, yet bring in newness, making it more relevant to today’s workforce. We are proud of our past, but we need to take responsibility of thinking about our future and shaping it,” said Chandrasekaran.
Somaya said the location where the HQ stands is very noisy, and one of her tasks will be to make the building sound-proof. “The plan is to move offices out of the ground floor while retaining a few things like the auditorium (which has witnessed several annual shareholder meetings) and power sub-station.”
More than 600 employees, including many working out of the heritage property for decades, will be relocated to other Tata offices in the city. Chandrasekaran, the group’s seventh chairman and his core team will move to a rented address close to the Headquarters.
The facade of the structure will remain the same as external changes are restricted in heritage buildings. The insides will undergo an INR 80 Cr. makeover with hi-tech architectural CS like- a digital lobby.
Keeping in sync with the digital age, Chandrasekaran wants the new office to be tech-abled and agile, with a flat and open look.
In 1921, Dorabji Tata, the elder son of Jamsetji Tata, bought the 21,285 sq. ft. prime plot in south Mumbai from the Bombay Municipality for INR 3.6 Cr. as the group couldn’t accommodate its growing ventures at its previous office at Navsari Chambers.
It was designed by Scottish architect George Wittet, who is known for his iconic creations like the Gateway of India and the Prince of Wales Museum. Wittet, who was also on the board of Tata Motors, designed 44 buildings for the group.
The Bombay House will reopen by mid-2018, in the time of the group’s 150th anniversary.