Read

English Hindi

Biography

Politics & War

Business & Economy

Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata

Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata
RATNA

 

  • Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata (29 July 1904 – 29 November 1993) was a French-born Indian aviator, entrepreneur, chairman of Tata Group and the shareholder of Tata Sons.
  • Born into the Tata family of India, he was the son of noted businessman Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata and his wife Suzanne Brière. His mother was the first woman in India to drive a car and, in 1929, he became the first licensed pilot in India.
  • He is also best known for being the founder of several industries under the Tata Group, including Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, Titan Industries, Tata Salt, Voltas and Air India. In 1983, he was awarded the French Legion of Honour and in 1955 and 1992, he received two of India’s highest civilian awards the Padma Vibhushan and the Bharat Ratna. These honors were bestowed on him for his contributions to Indian industry.
RATNA

 

  • JRD Tata was born as Jehangir on 29 July 1904 into a Parsi family. He was the second child of businessman Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata and his French wife, Suzanne “Sooni” Brière. His father was the first cousin of Jamsetji Tata, a pioneer industrialist in India.
  • He had one elder sister Sylla, a younger sister Rodabeh and two younger brothers Darab and Jamshed (called Jimmy) Tata.
  • As his mother was French, he spent much of his childhood in France and as a result, French was his first language. He attended the Janson De Sailly School in Paris.
RATNA

 

  • He attended the Cathedral and John Connon School, Bombay. Tata got educated in London, Japan, France and India.When his father joined the Tata company he moved the whole family to London. During this time, J.R.D’s mother died at an early age of 43 while his father was in India and his family was in France.
  • After his mother’s death, Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata decided to move his family to India and sent J.R.D to England for higher studies in October 1923. He was enrolled in a Grammar school, and was interested in studying Engineering at Cambridge. As a citizen of France J.R.D had to enlist in the army for at least 1 year
RATNA

 

  • After a 12-month period of conscription in the French Army he wanted to proceed to Cambridge for further education, but his father decided to bring him back to India and he joined the Tata Company.
  • In 1929, JRD renounced his French citizenship and became an Indian citizen, and started working at Tata. In 1930 JRD married Thelma Vicaji.
  • On 10 February 1929, Tata obtained the first pilot licence issued in India. He later came to be known as the father of Indian civil aviation. He founded India’s first commercial airline, Tata Airlines in 1932, which became Air India in 1946
 RATNA

 

  • In 1938, at the age of 34, JRD was elected Chairman of Tata Sons making him the head of the largest industrial group in India. He took over as Chairman of Tata Sons from his second cousin Nowroji Saklatwala.
  • Under his chairmanship, the assets of the Tata Group grew from US$100 million to over US$5 billion.
  • He started with 14 enterprises under his leadership and half a century later on 26 July 1988, when he left, Tata Sons was a conglomerate of 95 enterprises which they either started or in which they had controlling interest.
RATNA

 

  • He was the trustee of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust from its inception in 1932 for over half a century. Under his guidance, this Trust established Asia’s first cancer hospital, the Tata Memorial Centre for Cancer, Research and Treatment, in Bombay in 1941.
  • He 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.
RATNA

 

  • In 1945, he founded Tata Motors. In 1948, JRD Tata launched Air India International as India’s first international airline.
  • In 1953, the Indian Government appointed JRD Tata as Chairman of Air India and a director on the Board of Indian Airlines – a position he retained for 25 years. For his crowning achievements in aviation, he was bestowed with the title of Honorary Air Commodore of India.
  • JRD Tata cared greatly for his workers. In 1956, he initiated a programme of closer ’employee association with management’ to give workers a stronger voice in the affairs of the company.
RATNA

 

  • JRD Tata died in Geneva, Switzerland on 29 November 1993 at the age of 89 of a kidney infection.
  • Upon his death, the Indian Parliament was adjourned in his memory – an honour not usually given to persons who are not members of parliament. He was buried at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.