Rome wasn’t built in months. Nor was it destroyed in months. The same is the case with the spat between Ratan Tata, interim Chairman, Tata Group, and Cyrus Mistry, former Chairman. The story starts, ironically, when Ratan decided to search for his successor. The year: 2010. The five members of the selection committee included Ratan’s loyalists-NA Soonawala, RK Krishna Kumar, the UK-based Lord Bhattacharya, ShrinBharucha, and, of course, Cyrus, whose family owns 18 per cent in Tata Sons, the group’s holding company. Cut to November 23, 2011. After 18 meetings in search of a professional outsider to carry on the almost 150-year-old Tata legacy, the committee selected Cyrus, who was already an insider as Tata Sons’ director. He was actually an insider-outsider, possibly the worst combination for a successor of a $100-billion business empire.