Cyrus P. Mistry, the newly appointed Deputy Chairman of Tata Sons is pictured in Mumbai.

CNN’s Sumnima Udas in Mumbai contributed to this report

Story highlights

India business press surprised by the selection of Cyrus Mistry as Tata deputy chair

Will replace Ratan Tata as chairman of the Tata Group in December 2012

The 43-year-old will run one of India's largest and most iconic companies

CNN  — 

Corporate India was surprised that the low-profile scion of an Indian construction tycoon will take over the nation’s most high profile company after a 14-month search.

Reaction across the Indian business press was one of surprise at the appointment of 43-year-old Cyrus Pallonji Mistry as the successor to business icon Ratan Tata, the man who has led the $80 billion conglomerate for the past two decades. Mistry was former head of Shapoorji Pallonji Group, a construction company.

“The first (impression) is wow! People looked at the possibility of Tata’s half-brother succeeding him, but nobody looked at Mistry,” Sunil Jain, opinion editor of the Financial Express, told India’s MoneyControl. “I think for all you know, he may turn out to be a good chief.”

Mistry was named deputy chairman Wednesday, shadowing Tata for a year before officially taking the reins in December 2012. Mistry is expected to be named the sixth chairman since the company’s founding in 1868.

India’s Tata Group names successor

It was widely expected that Tata’s half brother, Noel Tata – who is married to Mistry’s sister – would be named chairman. He is managing director of Tata International.

Asked in an exclusive interview with CNN earlier this year what are the chances a Tata family member would replace him, the 73-year-old Ratan Tata said, “My stepbrother is one of the candidates that is being considered and I don’t think it’s my lot to say whether it’s 50%, or 90% or 10% (chance).”