"We do not claim to be more unselfish, more generous or more philanthropic than other people. But we think we started on sound and straightforward business principles, considering the interests of the shareholders our own, and the health and welfare of the employees the sure foundation of our prosperity."

— Jamsetji Tata

At the opening of a new extension to the Empress Mills in 1895.

"To my father, the acquisition of wealth was only a secondary object in life; it was always subordinate to the constant desire in his heart to improve the industrial and intellectual condition of the people of this country; and the various enterprises which he from time to time undertook in his life-time had for their principal object the advancement of India in these important respects. To me it is a matter of the utmost regret that he is not alive today to see the accomplishment of the three cherished aims of the last years of his life - viz., Research Institute, the Iron and Steel project and the Hydro-Electric Scheme... Kind fate, has however, permitted me to help in bringing to completion his inestimable legacy of service to the country, and it is a matter of the greatest gratification to his sons to have been permitted to carry to fruition the sacred trust which he committed to their charge."

— Sir Dorabji Tata

While laying the foundation stone of the Lonavala Dam on 8 February 1911.

" will enter into a business career where your intelligence, your nerves your courage & your morals will be severely tested by the eventful life that you will be leading. You will there understand the seriousness of responsibility. I doubt not that my Jehangir will eventually come out successful through his high moral qualities. You will find in your path many pitfalls and temptations which you will have to shun & jump over though with great difficulties. If you always keep before your eyes Truth & Honesty, whatever happens you will come out safe; at least you will never be discredited or dishonoured."

— R D Tata

In a letter to his son J R D Tata, 29 December 1921.

"It is a struggle of which the people of this country have every reason to be proud. I have watched with unfeigned admiration the undaunted and determined stand which our countrymen in the Transvaal — a mere handful in numbers — have made and are making, against heavy odds, and in the face of monstrous injustice and oppression, to assert their rights as citizens of the Empire and as freemen, and to vindicate the honour and dignity of our motherland. The ruinous sacrifices which men mostly of very modest means are cheerfully making in this unequal struggle, the fortitude with which men of education and refinement are ungrudgingly submitting to treatment ordinarily accorded to hardened convicts and criminals, the calm resignation of men devotedly attached to their homes to cruel disruption of family ties, and the perfectly legitimate and constitutional character of the resistance which is being offered and which is in such striking contrast to the occasional acts of violence and crime which we deplore nearer home — all these, to my mind, present a spectacle of great nobility of aim, resoluteness of purpose and strength of moral fibre with which we Indians are usually not credited. I have been following with close interest the proceedings of the public meetings that are being held in this country to give expression to our feelings in this matter; but it seems to me that the struggle has now reached a stage when our appreciation of it must take the form, not merely of expressions of sympathy but also of substantial money help. And I cannot help saying that it is with some surprise and disappointment that I see that no steps have, so far, been taken to collect funds for the purpose. This is, however, a matter for those who usually take the lead in such affairs. For myself, I feel I should lose no more time in doing my duty by our brave and suffering brethren in the Transvaal and I have, therefore, great pleasure in enclosing a Cheque for Rs. 25,000/- which I shall feel obliged by your forwarding to Mr. Gandhi, - the money to be spent in relieving destitution, and in aid of the struggle generally."

— Sir Ratan Tata

In a letter to Gopala Krishna Gokhale, 29 November 1909, Bombay.

Reminiscence of S.Guru Bhaskara,

an employee of TISCO (Tata Steel), Bombay in 1974.

I entered the lift breathless, after what must have been an unintended attempt at the world walking record, and said to the liftman, “Fourth floor, —zara jaldi!"

It was 9.20 in the morning and, where I work, the first three-quarters of an hour are the most tension-packed and ulcer-laden moments of the whole working day. The brass-hats spend these forty-five minutes wearing themselves to a frazzle, drafting notes, drawing up charts, compiling analyses—in short, preparing themselves in every possible manner to answer questions, anticipated and otherwise, from the operating chief who would hand down the decisions for the day.

The liftman put his head out reflectively, jerked himself suddenly to life, straightened his uniform, fixed the top button of his coat and, standing ramrod—straight, announced. "Saab atha hail"

Besides me, there were two Bombay House men and a rather impressive looking gentleman in a brown suit. Each one of us spent the next few moments privately speculating on the identity ofthe 'saab'.

It wasn't long before the Chairman entered, taking us in as he stepped in and smiling his greetings. I froze in whatever attitude the moment found me—that is, except for my knees which begana fast jig—and prepared for the longest elevator ride of my life.

As the lift rose, I caught Mr. Brownsuit looking fixedly at the Chairman. He appeared to be struggling with a comprehension falling just short of conviction, and I knew at once that he was a stranger in the House. As we neared the second floor, unable to contain his curiosity any longer, he broke out with, "Sir, you look like Mr. J.R.D. Tata. Am I right?"

Amused more than surprised, the Chairman gave out a puckish smile, examined himself in the mirror as if to see whether the gentleman was right in his conjecture, and replied, "Do I really?... I wonder why!"

This put Mr. Brownsuit in a state of uncertainty, but not for long. Coming on strong with conviction, he declared, "Sir, you ARE Mr. Tata. I am sure!"

Taking this with his characteristic grace and modesty, the Chairman conceded, "Well . . . yes, I happen to be—by coincidence!"

Mr. Brownsuit was visibly moved and, touching the sleeve of the Chairman's jacket, said: "I have been blessed. Sir. May God grant you long life!"

The Chairman thanked the gentleman, who got out on the third floor. The Stigler whispered up to the fourth, my knees stopped their Morse and awe yielded to chest-swelling pride and a sense of belonging.

If you would like to read more about J.R.D. Tata , please follow the link

K.A.D. Naoroji worked with the Tata group in various capacities throughout his career. He was mainly associated the Tata Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. (TISCO) and Tata Incorporated, New York.

When K.A. D. Naoroji went as a delegate to the Iron and Steel Committee of the International Labour Organisation at Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A. in 1946, there was a discussion on the 'backward' countries of Asia. An American speaker described the conditions of slavery under which Indian workers in the steel industry were supposed to be working.

K.A.D. got up, and in his slow, gentle way described how TISCO had introduced an eight-hour day so far back as 1912, long before it had been generally accepted in America or Europe (the Factories Bill of 1911 envisioned a legal limit of twelve hours in Britain). Leave with pay was introduced in 1920, at a time when it was unknown in either England or America; in India, generally it was not established by law until 1945. A Provident Fund, at that time unknown in England and not legalised in India until 1952, was started in Jamshedpur in 1920. Accident compensation started in the same year, earlier and much more liberal than the Workmen’s Compensation Act.

He also pointed out that the Company provided free medical and hospital treatment and free schools to workers; he spoke of the general bonus and the profit sharing bonus. After he sat down, there was no more talk of slave labour in India’s steel industry.

If you would like to read more about K.A.D. Naoroji , please follow the link

Jamsetji was inspired to set up an iron and steel company, when he attended a lecture by Thomas Carlyle on a trip to Manchester.

The moment Lord Curzon, the Viceroy, liberalised the mining laws in 1899, Jamsetji set off to the United States and visited the firm of Kennedy, Sahlin and Company Ltd. Julian Kennedy suggested the name of Charles Page Perin, a surveyor of international repute as the best person to undertake the investigations. Perin initially sent his assistant, C.M. Weld for prospecting iron ore of requisite quality for the Iron and Steel Works. Dorabji, joined C.M. Weld, in this search. Their extensive search led them to a place called Sakchi, which was a meeting place of the two rivers – Khorkai and Subarnarekha. The actual construction of the plant began in 1908, and the foundations were started in May 1909. The original plant was not large. There were two 200-ton blast furnaces, four 40-ton open-hearth furnaces, a hundred and eighty Coppee’s coke ovens, a steam-driven blooming mill, a rail and structural mill and a small bar mill. The first blast furnace was blown in on the 2nd of December 1911 and the first successful ingot was rolled on the 16th of February 1912.
Nani Ardeshir Palkhivala was born on January 16, 1920. The year 2020 marks the birth centenary of this great legend.

An eminent advocate and constitutional expert, Palkhivala started his legal practice in the chambers of the legendary Sir Jamshed Kanga in Bombay in 1944. He argued a number of historical cases in the courts of India and abroad. He successfully argued before the Supreme Court of India cases which affirmed the fundamental rights of the minorities to establish and administer educational and religious institutions of their choice and to choose the language in which education should be imparted.

Palkhivala was a remarkable orator, whose post-budget speeches drew national and international attention and was attended by thousands of people. He was described as “the conscience-keeper of the nation and an embodiment of humility". He was a strong proponent of the rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

Palkhivala was appointed Ambassador of India to the United States of America in September 1977, an assignment which he held until July 1979.

He was on the board of several Indian and overseas companies. He was Chairman Emeritus of the Associated Cement Co. Ltd. and the Director of many Tata companies including The Tata Iron and Steel Co. Ltd., The Tata Engineering and Locomotive Co. Ltd., The Indian Hotels Co. Ltd. and several other companies. He was also the Chairman of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for several years.

Palkhivala was also a member of the Forum of Free Enterprise, the Leslie Sawhny Programme of Training for Democracy and a Trustee of several charitable trusts.
Lady Meherbai Tata, wife of Sir Dorabji Tata was born in Bombay on October 10, 1879. The year 2019 marks her 140th birth anniversary.

Meherbai was the daughter of Hormusji J. Bhabha, a prominent educationist and the Inspector General of Education, Mysore State.

Meherbai married Dorabji Tata on February 14, 1898. She shared Dorabji’s love for sport and travel. She was passionately fond of tennis and played in several tournaments, winning over sixty prizes.

Being sensitive and concerned about the condition of women, she championed the cause of women empowerment, strongly campaigned against child marriage, purdah system and untouchability. She was one of the founders of the Bombay Presidency Women’s Council and the National Council of Women.

Meherbai took a very active part during the War in raising contributions. She was conferred the Commander of the Civil Division of the Order of the British Empire by King George V in 1919 for her services to the War efforts.

She passed away on June 18, 1931. In 1932, Sir Dorabji Tata, established The Lady Tata Memorial Trust in her memory. The Lady Meherbai D. Tata Education Trust was also founded for the training of women in hygiene, health and social welfare.
Lady Navajbai Tata, wife of Sir Ratan Tata was born on September 23, 1877. The year 2019 marks her 142nd birth anniversary.

Navajbai was the younger daughter of Ardeshir Merwanji Sett and Pirojbai. She was married to Ratan Tata on November 5, 1892, at the age of fifteen. In her youth, she was proficient at horse riding, in an age when women were rather shy and reluctant to indulge in such sports.

Navajbai was appointed a Director on the Board of Tata Sons in 1924, a position she held right up to her death on August 20, 1965. She was the first woman Director on the Board of Tata Sons.

She was also the first Parsi woman to be appointed on the board of the Bombay Parsi Panchayat.

The Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust was formed in 1974 in memory of Navajbai Tata. The Trust works together with the Sir Ratan Tata Trust (set up in 1919) in bringing about sustainable change in the lives of the marginalised communities of the nation.
Sir Dorabji Tata, the elder son of the Founder, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata was born on August 27, 1859. The year 2019 marks the 160th birth anniversary of Sir Dorabji Tata.

It was Dorabji, with his drive and enthusiasm and aided by the resolve of his younger brother, Ratan Tata and his cousin, R.D. Tata, father of J.R.D. Tata, who saw Jamsetji’s projects through to the stage of accomplishment. At the time of Jamsetji’s death, the Tata enterprises comprised three textile mills and the Taj Mahal Hotel, Bombay (Mumbai). Under Sir Dorabji Tata’s stewardship were added an integrated steel plant – then the largest single unit in the British Empire – three electric power companies, a large edible oil and soap company, two cement companies, one of India’s leading insurance company and an aviation unit pioneered by J.R.D. Tata. Meanwhile, Dorabji Tata had also seen through the establishment of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (Bengaluru), which was to spearhead scientific research in India for decades to come.

The name of Dorabji Tata was included in the Honours List in 1910 when he received a Knighthood, in recognition of his contribution to the industrial advancement of India.
J.R.D. Tata, the father of Indian civil aviation, formally joined the ranks of all-time great aviation pioneers when he received the esteemed Daniel Guggenheim Medal Award in Seattle, Washington, on July 31, 1989. John H. Enders, President of the Flight Safety Foundation and Chairman Daniel Guggenheim Medal Board of Award (1988), presented the Medal and the Scroll to J.R.D. Tata.

J.R.D. Tata was presented with the award for a lifetime of significant contributions to aviation and for his pioneering work in developing commercial air travel throughout India and rest of Asia.

The award presentation took place at the Pacific Museum of Flight on the first day of the three-day Aircraft Design and Operations Conference and the Applied Aerodynamics Conference, under the auspices of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

The backdrop of the stage had a Great Gallery displaying among other things, a Puss Moth and a Tiger Moth, the vintage airplanes, hung from the ceiling.
The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research was formally inaugurated on December 19, 1945 in a portion of a building known as 'Kenilworth', at Pedder Road. However, the activities of the Institute soon expanded, and this building was no longer adequate.

In 1948, the Institute moved to a portion of the building vacated by the Royal Bombay Yacht Club at Apollo Pier Road but soon this space too proved inadequate. After a careful search, a suitable plot for the Institute was identified at Colaba in 1951 on land belonging to the Government of India. The foundation stone of the Institute's new building was laid at this site by the Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru on January 1, 1954.

The construction of the building was completed by the end of 1961 and was formally inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, on January 15, 1962.
Geneva was a special place for J. R. D. Tata as he spent a number of his holidays there. It was to Geneva that he went for his vacation in October 1993. A few days later, he was suffering from a kidney infection and blockage and was admitted to the Cantonal University of Geneva Hospital on November 4. The end came on November 29, 1993.

The funeral ceremony and internment was held two days later on December 3, 1993 at the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris – one of the two largest and most famous cemeteries in Europe. Almost at the centre of the parkland stands a stone chapel where the ceremony was held. The last rites were performed in accordance with the Zoroastrian scriptures by two Zoroastrian priests.

JRD was laid to rest in a simple walnut, unembellished coffin in the granite vault of the R. D. Tata family.
In November 1916, Sir Ratan Tata, the younger son of the Founder, Jamsetji Tata who was unwell set sail on the S.S. Arabia, along with his wife, Lady Navajbai Tata. The journey proved to be unlucky since the ship was torpedoed by Germans in the Mediterranean just a day out from Port Said. The ship was sunk but all the passengers were saved. This shipwreck deteriorated his health further.

Sir Ratan Tata passed away on September 5, 1918 at St. Ives, Cornwall. His mausoleum is located at Brookwood Cemetery, near London.
The Tata Monthly Bulletin an in-house publication of the Tata group had brought out a special issue on India’s Independence Day - August 15, 1947.

One of the items featured in this issue mentions that the following Tata companies granted half a month's bonus as a special “Independence Day Bonus” to their employees:

● Tata Sons and Tata Industries
● Tata Iron and Steel Company
● Tata Hydro-Electric Group of Companies
● Tata Locomotive and Engineering Company
● Tata Oil Mills
● Tata Chemicals
● Air-India
● Indian Hotels Company

The Tata Group of Textile Mills will be governed by the decision of the Millowners' Association.
On April 5, 1895 a new weaving shed was inaugurated at “Empress Mills”, a part of the Central India Spinning, Weaving and Manufacturing Company Limited under the management of Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata at Nagpur. It was inaugurated by Mr. John Woodburn, C.S.I., Chief Commissioner, Central Provinces. Jamsetji Tata, the Company’s Director, read out the history and account of the Mills.

Speaking on the occasion, Jamsetji affirmed, “We do not claim to be more unselfish, more generous or more philanthropic than other people. But we think we started on sound and straightforward business principles, considering the interests of the shareholders our own, and the health and welfare of the employees the sure foundation of our prosperity.”
'Tatanagars' – were armoured cars fitted with bullet-proof plates and rivets made by Tata Steel during World War II. They were so robust, that soldiers declared them to be safer than slit-trenches during a bomber raid. Even when a 75-mm shell burst on one side of a 'Tatanagar', the metal plates buckled but did not get pierced, and the occupants emerged unharmed.;
Congratulating JRD on his appointment, Air Marshal Arjan Singh wrote, 'I am delighted that the President has conferred the Honorary Rank of Air Commodore in the Indian Air Force on you. No one reserves this Honorary Rank than you do; you have contributed immensely to the development of aviation in the country and your interest in the Indian Air Force has always been useful. I am sure that your elevation to the rank of Air Commodore, (the rank which Sir Winston Churchill held) will be appreciated by all enthusiast of aviation.'
Jamsetji Tata noticed that the city of Bombay failed in providing travellers the comforts and luxuries available in the West.

Jamsetji leased a large plot of reclaimed land at Apollo Bunder in Bombay (now Mumbai) and announced that he would build a hotel there, a hotel the likes of which India had not seen and would bring the world to Bombay.

The construction of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel began in 1898. The foundations were 40 feet deep, unusual for those days.

Jamsetji was one of the first men in India to appreciate and apply the use of electricity. While at the Düsseldorf exhibition, he arranged with a German firm to carry out the electrification of the hotel.

The hotel opened its doors to the first 17 guests on December 16, 1903.

The rooms were designed both for the man of modest means and for the millionaire who desired a luxurious suite.

When opened, the Taj boasted of a series of firsts in Indian hospitality – American fans, German elevators, Turkish baths and English butlers.

On February 14, 1898, the beautiful Mehri and Dorab were married.

In 1890, Jamsetji Tata, Founder of the House of Tata visited Bangalore at the invitation of Sheshadri Iyer, the Dewan of Mysore.

It is on one of these frequent visits that he came in close contact with Hormusji Bhabha, Inspector-General of Education, Mysore State.

Jamsetji, took a great liking for his young daughter Meherbai, or Mehri as she was then called, and had a hand in the selection of her as his daughter-in-law.

Jamsetji thought that his son Dorab should make his own decision and selection without any prompting from him. He advised Dorab to visit Mysore State and call on the Bhabha family.

Dorab did just that and when served refreshments by Mehri, he predictably fell in love with her at first sight.

3rd March, the birth anniversary of our Founder, Jamsetji Tata is celebrated as Founder’s Day by Tata group companies.

The first Founders' Day celebrations took place in Jamshedpur in 1932.

It was D. M. Madan, Chief Accountant, Tata Iron and Steel Company who first conceived the idea of holding an annual gathering that should give each employee an opportunity of expressing his regard for the memory of the genius to whose faith and judgment, energy and perseverance, the Tata group bears enduring witness.

At the same time, the ceremony was devised so as to enable each worker to demonstrate his pride of membership in the organisation.

To this day, as a tribute to the Founder, March 3 is celebrated as Founder's Day with much pomp and gaiety.