Tata hosts trip to India

MUMBAI, India – Five U.S. journalists, including myself, today arrived at their Asian destination as part of a nine-day journey to experience business and industry in India as guests of Tata Group.

Tata’s steel manufacturing arm owns Thomas Steel Strip in Warren, along with a multitude of other industries worldwide.

The global giant became part of the Mahoning Valley industry in 2007 with its purchase of Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus, Thomas Steel Strip’s former parent company.

A quick synopsis of the Tata conglomerate shows it has:

Operations in more than 100 countries on six continents;

Operations of more than 100 companies;

Business sectors that include communications and information technology; engineering; materials; services; energy; consumer products; and chemicals;

Exports of products and services to at least 150 countries.

This week, four other journalists besides myself are scheduled to spend time at Tata’s world headquarters in Mumbai, and tour Tata Steel and Tata Motors’ automotive factories in Jamshedpur, India, as well as Tata aerospace facilities in Hyderabad, India.

This is the first time Tata has invited U.S. business writers to participate in such a tour, but a company spokesman who is accompanying the group said Tata previously sponsored a similar outing with British journalists.

The group is starting its week with a stay in Mumbai, a city of nearly 20 million people, formerly known as Bombay, in the landmark century-old Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel.

This urban peninsula site was one of several locations struck in coordinated simultaneous terrorist attacks Nov. 26 to 29, 2008. The five-star hotel, also owned by Tata, was burned in the attack, but has since been repaired.

The journalists are expected to tour key locations from that 2008 terror attack on Mumbai landmarks that left more than 160 people dead.

Accompanying me is a reporter and photographer for Forbes Magazine; an assistant editor for trade publication IHS Chemical Week magazine; and editor of the Green River Star, a daily newspaper in Wyoming, where Tata Chemicals North America mines and processes the mineral trona ore.

Linert has worked at the Tribune Chronicle for nearly two decades in various capacities, most recently as business editor. She writes and coordinates coverage of local steel and auto industries, oil and gas drilling, economic development and other related topics. She was invited in part due to the Tribune Chronicle’s past coverage of issues surrounding Thomas Steel, including the company’s fight to ban dumping of imports that it claims unfairly compete with Thomas’ domestically produced products.