From the incorporation of the Tata group by Jamsetji Tata in 1868 till today, the Tatas have given a lot to the country. From industries to educational institutions, they have proved to be a backbone that strengthens today’s India. Today, we look at the contributions of the Tatas in the development of India.
1. Jamsetji Tata, the father of the Indian Industry.
Jamsetji Tata was the founder of the Tata group and India’s first planned industrial city, Jamshedpur. He is also regarded as the “Father of Indian Industry”. He started a textile mill in Central India with just ₹21,000 back in 1868 and built an empire with it.
Jamsetji Tata opened schools for the children of workers of his mills. He also opened child care centres and launched employee welfare schemes. He was a visionary who wanted India to be self-sufficient instead of relying on other countries. He was so influential that the first Prime Minister of India, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru referred to him as the “One-Man Planning Commission”.
2. Sir Dorabji Tata – the man responsible for India’s first Olympics participation.
Sir Dorabji Tata was the elder son of Jamsetji Tata. Also an ardent fan of sports, he was the President of the Indian Olympic Council. India owes its first participation in the Olympic Games at Antwerp in 1920 to Sir Dorabji Tata. He financed the Indian contingent that went to Paris in 1920.
Sir Dorabji Tata also helped in founding the Willingdon Sports Club, the Parsi Gymkhana, the High Schools Athletic Association and the Bombay Presidency Olympic Games Association for the advancement of sports in the country.
3. Sir Dorabji Tata shaped the vision of Jamsetji Tata.
Sir Dorabji Tata took forward the vision of Jamsetji Tata and set up Tata Steel and Tata Power. When the Tata Steels were facing a hard time after World War I, Sir Dorabji Tata and his wife pledged their personal belongings to save it.
Sir Dorabji Tata’s wife died of cancer. Stricken by loss, Sir Dorabji Tata founded the Tata Memorial Hospital which treats 70% of cancer patients free of charge. Under his stewardship, Tata Group also added three electric power companies, a large edible oil and soap company, two cement companies, one of India’s leading insurance companies, and an aviation unit.
Kind fate has prompted me to help in bringing to completion his (Jamsetji Tata) inestimable legacy of service to the country
-Sir Dorabji Tata
4. Sir Dorabji Tata established the Indian Institute of Sciences in Bengaluru.
Jamsetji Tata had three great passions – starting the Indian Institute of Sciences, a steel plant, and a hydroelectric plant. Sir Dorabji Tata fulfilled all his passions and also helped to establish the Indian Institute of Sciences in Bengaluru to prepare the future generation to participate in the scientific development of the country.
5. Sir Dorabji Tata Trust
Just like his father Jamsetji Tata, Sir Dorabji Tata also believed that wealth should be put to constructive use. For this, he poured all his wealth into establishing a trust. The trust was to be used for the advancement of learning and research, the relief of distress and other charitable purposes “without any distinction of place, nationality or creed“.
6. JRD Tata, the first licensed pilot of India and the founder of Tata Airlines.
JRD Tata started as an unpaid apprentice at the Tata Group but rose to become the youngest chairman of the group. In 1929, JRD Tata became one of the first Indians to be granted a commercial pilot’s licence.
JRD Tata founded Tata Airlines in 1932 and flew the first flight from Drigh Road in Karachi. In 1953, Jawaharlal Nehru’s government nationalized Air India, a decision JRD Tata fought against with all his heart. In 2022, the Tata group took over Air India again after seven decades.
7. JRD Tata founded the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
JRD Tata founded the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research along with Homi Jehangir Bhabha. He also helped in founding the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, the National Institute of Advanced Sciences and the National Centre for the Performing Arts.
8. TCS created the software for stock exchange.
Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) is the fastest stock exchange in the world whereas the National Stock Exchange (NSE) is in the top three. The Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is the IT company responsible for the software used in BSE and NSE which facilitates huge transactions on both platforms. TCS is the number 1 IT Services company in both India and UK.
9. Ratan Tata, the man behind high-profile Tata acquisitions.
Ratan Tata succeeded JRD Tata as the Chairman of Tata Group in 1981. In the 2000s, Tata group made several high-profile acquisitions like Tetley, Corus, Jaguar Land Rover, Brunner Mond, General Chemical Industrial Products and Daewoo.
The contribution of the Tata family members and the Tata Group has been tremendous. It’s not wrong to say that Tata Group has played a great role in shaping the future of the country and bringing India to where it is today.