From its inception in 1868 by Jamsetji Tata, Tata Group has become an organization that keeps contributing to the growth of the country. It has given us industries, colleges, and brought world-renowned brands to the country. Today, we look at the list of Tata Chairmen and their contribution to the country.  

1. Jamsetji Tata | 1868–1904

Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata regarded as the “Father of Indian Industry” founded the Tata Group in 1868. He was the first chairman of the Tata Group, and also established the city of Jamshedpur. 

In 2021, Jamsetji Tata topped the “EdelGive Hurun Philanthropists of the Century” list. Along with giving his revolutionary ideologies to the country, Jamsetji Tata also contributed to the overall societal welfare. He donated generously in the education and healthcare sector. 

Tata Group

The three main focuses of Jamsetji Tata were to establish an iron and steel company, generate hydroelectric power, and create a world-class educational institution in the country. These dreams didn’t materialize while he was alive but was taken forward by his son Sir Dorabji Tata.

2. Sir Dorabji Tata | 1904–1932

Sir Dorabji Tata was the elder son of Jamsetji Tata and succeeded him to be the second chairman of the Tata Group in 1904. A few of his many contributions to the country includes setting up the Tata Steel and Tata Power in the country.

Tata Group

He also established Sir Dorabji Tata Trust which led to the birth of the Tata tradition of philanthropy. Sir Dorabji Tata Trust funded many great institutions in the country like the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Tata Memorial Institution, etc. He also helped establish the Indian Institute of Sciences to further his father’s dreams. 

3. Sir Nowroji Saklatwala | 1932–1938

Sir Nowroji Saklatwala succeeded Sir Dorabji Tata to become the third chairman of the Tata Group. He started his journey as a Tata employee in 1889 and was an apprentice in one of the Tata mills. Sir Nowroji worked his way up to become the chairman of the Tata Group in the year 1932. 

Tata Group

Sir Nowroji was driven by the zeal of employee welfare which he placed over everything else. He wanted the employees to share the prosperity of the company, hence, he introduced a profit-sharing scheme, something which was unheard of at that time. 

Sir Nowroji was also fond of sports, especially cricket. He helped build many institutions, one of which is the Cricket Club Of India. 

4. JRD Tata | 1938–1991

Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata was one of the first Indians to be granted a commercial pilots license. His love for flying led to the foundation of the Tata Aviation Service in India in 1932. 

JRD. Tata succeeded Sir Nowroji Saklatwala to be the chairman of the Tata Group in 1938. He was the youngest member of the Tata Sons board at that time. He was the longest-serving chairman of the group, with his stewardship lasting for over 50 years. 

Tata Group

Many of the premier institutions in India are the fruits of JRD Tata’s labour. He helped open the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, the Tata Memorial Hospital, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, the National Institute of Advanced Sciences and the National Centre for the Performing Arts in India. 

5. Ratan Tata | 1991–2012, 2016-17

Ratan Tata was the fifth chairman and the current Chairman Emeritus of the Tata Group. He became the chairman in March 1991. He joined the Tata Group as an assistant in 1962 and worked his way up. 

Tata Trusts

The Tata group was unevenly managed and bureaucratic at the time Ratan Tata took over as the chairman. He then restructured it and made it the way we know it today. He also made several high-profile acquisitions, like Tetley, Corus, Jaguar Land Rover, Brunner Mond, General Chemical Industrial Products and Daewoo.

6. Natarajan Chandrasekaran | 2017-present

Natarajan Chandrasekaran was previously the Chief Operating Officer and the Chief Executive Officer of Tata Consultancy Services and became the Chairman of the Group in 2017. Natarajan Chandrasekaran is the first non-Parsi and professional executive to head the Tata Group. 

Tata Motors

Under his supervision, TCS has generated consolidated revenues of US$16.5 billion in 2015-16. TCS remains the most valuable company in India and has also become the number 1 IT company in the UK. Natarajan Chandrasekaran was reappointed as the chairman of the group in Feb 2022, it would be interesting to see what his upcoming tenure contributes to the country. 

Also Read | Other Than Ratan Tata, Here’s What Lesser-Known Tata Family Members Are Doing Right Now