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India tycoon denies attack on ‘lazy’ UK staff

NEW DELHI, May 22, 2011 (AFP) – Indian tycoon Ratan Tata has denied calling his British staff lazy after a London newspaper quoted him attacking them for heading home early on Friday afternoons. The Tata Group issued a statement after the Times published an interview in which he described how “nobody is willing to go the extra mile” at Jaguar Land Rover or Corus, two British firms which he bought in 2008 and 2006.

“Friday, from 3.30 pm, you can’t find anybody in their office,” he told the Times.

The Tata Group, a massive international conglomerate, said Ratan Tata had stressed that he was talking about management practices before he took over.

“Mr Tata has always been proud of what these companies’ present management teams have been able to do following their acquisition by Tata,” the statement issued late on Saturday said.

“The Times… seeks to present these comments as being about company managers today, even though Mr Tata makes clear in the interview that new management at Corus and Jaguar Land Rover has eliminated those practices.”

It said the article “fundamentally misrepresents” Ratan Tata, adding he never used the word “lazy” during the recorded intervie

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