Saturday, December 11, 2010

J. R. D. Tata

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Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata or jamshedji tata

JRD Tata
Born July 29, 1904(1904-07-29)
Paris, France
Died November 29, 1993(1993-11-29) (aged 89)
Geneva, Switzerland
Occupation Industrialist
Spouse Thelma Vicaji
Parents R.D. and Suzanne Tata
Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata (July 29, 1904–November 29, 1993) was a pioneer aviator and important businessman of India. He was awarded India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna in 1992[1].

[edit] Early life and education

J.R.D. Tata was born in Paris, France, the second child of Parsi father Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata and his French wife, Suzanne "Sooni" Brière[2][3]. His father was a first cousin of Jamsedji Tata, a pioneer industrialist in India. As his mother was French, he spent much of his childhood in France and as a result, French was his first language. Tata also attended the French Foreign Legion. He attended the Cathedral and John Connon School, Bombay (now Mumbai).
He did not continue beyond matriculation as mentioned in his biography Beyond The Last Blue Mountain by R M Lala.

[edit] Biography

J.R.D. Tata was inspired early by aviation pioneer Louis Blériot, and took to flying. On February 10, 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 in 1946 became Air India, now India's national airline.
JRD Tata joined Tata & Sons as an unpaid apprentice in 1925. 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. For decades, J R D directed the huge Tata Group of companies, with major interests in Steel, Engineering, Power,Chemicals and Hospitality. He was famous for succeeding in business while maintaining high ethical standards - refusing to bribe politicians or use the black market.
Under J R D's chairmanship, the assets of the Tata Group grew from Rs 620 Million to over Rs 100 Billion. He started with 14 enterprises under his leadership and half a century later on July 26, 1988, when he left , Tata & Sons was a conglomerate of 95 enterprises which they either started or in which they had controlling interest.
JRD was the trustee of 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 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.
In 1948, JRD Tata launched Air India International as India's first international airline. In 1953, the Indian Government appointed JRD as Chairman of Air-India and a director on the Board of Indian Airlines - a position JRD retained for 25 years. For his crowning achievements in Aviation, JRD was bestowed with the title of Honorary Air Commodore of India.
In 1956, JRD Tata initiated a program of closer 'employee association with management' to give workers a stronger voice in the affairs of the company. He firmly believed in employee welfare and espoused 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. In 1979, Tata Steel instituted a new practice: a worker being deemed to be "at work" from the moment he leaves home for work till he returns home from work. This made the company financially liable to the worker for any mishap on the way to and from work. Now they have withdrawn all this eight work and many liability to the worker.

[edit] Death

He died in Switzerland on 29 November 1993 at the age of 89. The Indian Parliament was adjourned in his memory in a gesture rarely accorded to non-Members of Parliament.
He is buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris,France.

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