Jamsetji Tata Biography

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JRD Tata Factsheet
JRD Tata
Full NameJehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata
Born on29th July ,1904
Place of BirthParis, France
Died on29 November 1993 (aged 89) Geneva, Switzerland
EducationCathedral and John Connon School, Bombay
OccupationEx-Chairman of Tata Group
Founder ofTCS, Tata Motors, Titan Industries, Tata Communications, Tata Tea, Voltas
ParentsR.D. and Suzanne Tata nee Briere
Married toThelma Vicaji

About JRD Tata

JRD Tata, was a trailblazer aviator. He had built one of the largest industrial houses in India. He was bestowed with India's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna in 1992. JRD Tata was the chairman of Tata & Sons for 50 years. He later emerged as the father of Indian civil aviation.

Personal Background of JRD Tata

JRD Tata was born on July 29, 1904 in Paris. His mother was a French, Suzzane, while his father, Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata was Parsi. JRD Tata was the second of four children. JRD's full name was Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata and he was popularly known as Jeh to his friends. His father was the first cousin of Jamsetji Tata, a pioneer industrialist in India. His mother was from France, so he spent the formative years of his life in France. He received his education in France, Japan and England. He also attended the French Foreign Legion, which is a unique military unit in the French Army established in 1831. He also attended The Cathedral and John Connon School, Mumbai. He did not continue beyond matriculation.

He married Thelma Vicaji. The couple had no children.

He died on 29 november 1993 in Geneva, Switzerland. The Indian Parliament was adjourned in his memory in a gesture seldom accorded to non-Members of Parliament. He was buried at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France.

JRD Tata's Career

  • 1925 : JRD Tata joined Tata & Sons as an unpaid apprentice.
  • 1929 : He became the first Indian pilot in February 1929.After emerging as India's first pilot, he played a pivotal role in giving wings to India by building Tata Airlines, which ultimately became Air India.
  • 1932 : His zeal for flying was fulfilled with the formation of Tata Aviation Services in 1932.
  • 1948 : JRD Tata launched Air India International as India's first international airline.
  • 1953 : Indian Government appointed JRD as Chairman of Air-India and a director on the Board of Indian Airlines-of which he was an incumbent for 25 years. For his crowning achievements in Aviation, JRD was conferred with the title of Honorary Air Commodore of India.
  • 1956 : JRD Tata started a program of closer "employee association with management" to impart workers with a stronger voice in the affairs of the company. He firmly believed in employee welfare and embraced the principles of an eight-hour working day, free medical aid, workers' provident scheme, and workmen's accident compensation schemes, which were later, adopted as statutory requirements in India.
  • 1979 : Tata cared greatly for his workers. Tata Steel instituted a new practice; a worker is deemed to be "at work" from the moment he leaves home for work till he returns home from work. The company is financially liable to the worker if any mishap takes place on the way to and from work. Tata Steel Township was also selected as a UN Global Compact City because of the quality of life, conditions of sanitation, roads and welfare that were offered by Tata Steel.
Under his chairmanship the assets of the Tata Group raised from $100 million to $5 billion.He started with 14 enterprises under his leadership.

In 1987 he found The Titan industries.

Endeavors of JRD Tata

  • Founder of TCS - It began as “the Tata Computer Centre” for the company Tata Group. JRD Tata was the first chairman, with FC Kohli the first general manager. At present TCS is the largest provider of information technology in Asia and second largest provider of business process outsourcing services in India.
  • Founder of Tata Motors - Tata Motors is a part of the Tata Group manages its share-holding through Tata Sons. The company was established in 1950 as a locomotive manufacturing unit and later diversified its operations to commercial vehicle sector in 1954 after forming a joint venture with Daimler-Benz AG of Germany. Despite the success of its commercial vehicles, Tata realized his company had to diversify and he began to look at other products.

    Based on consumer demand, he decided that building a small car would be the most practical new venture. So in 1998 it launched Tata Indica India's first fully endemic passenger car. Designed to be inexpensive and simple to build and maintain, the Indica became a popular and one of the most sought-after car in the Indian market. It was also exported to Europe, especially the UK and Italy.
  • Founder of Titan Industries - Titan watch division was started in 1987. At its launch it was the third watch company in India after HMT and Allwyn. Titan formed a joint venture with Timex which lasted until 1998, and setup a strong distribution network across India. At present Titan watches account for a 60% share of the total Indian market and are also sold in about 40 countries.
  • Founder of Tata Communications- It was founded as VSNL (Videsh Sanchaar Nigam Limited) in 1986. On 13th February 2008 VSNL, previously owned by the government, was taken over by the Tata Group and was later renamed as Tata Communciations Ltd.
  • Founder of Tata Tea - Tata tea also known as Tata-Tetley is the world's second largest manufacturer and distributor of tea. It is owned by Tata Group and markets tea under the major brands Tata Tea, Tetley, Good Earth Teas and JEMCA.
  • Founder of Voltas - The Company was Incorporated on 6th September 1954 at Mumbai. The Company was promoted in 1954 by M/s. Volkart Brothers and Tatas. Voltas is a part of the Tata Group.

Social Activities done by JRD Tata

JRD was the trustee of Sir Dorabji Tata Trust from its inception in 1932 for over half a century. Under his direction, this Trust established Asia's first cancer hospital, the Tata Memorial Center for Cancer, Research and Treatment, in Bombay in 1941. It also founded the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, TISS, 1936, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, TIFR, 1945, and the National Center for Performing Arts.

Awards and Achievements of JRD Tata

  • In 1954 he was awarded the Legion d'honneur by the French Government.
  • In 1957 on the eve of silver jubilee of Air India JRD Tata received the Padambhushana.
  • In 1979 he became the recipient of the Tony Jannus Award for his distinguished contributions to commercial aviation.
  • In 1988, he received the Guggenheim Medal for aviation.
  • In 1992 because his selfless humanitarian efforts he was bestowed with the highest civilian award the Bharat Ratna.
  • In 1992 he was honored with United Nations Population Award for his incessant endeavors towards initiating and prosperously implementing the Family Planning Movement in India.

Last Updated on 08/06/2015