By: FPJ Web Desk | July 28, 2023
Commemorating 119th Birth Anniversary, Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, renowned as the father of Indian aviation, the longest-serving chairperson of the Tata group, and the visionary founder of numerous iconic companies, exemplified a stalwart figure in Indian business and much more.
He was born on July 29, 1904, to a French mother and a Parsi father, he grew up imbibing two polarised cultures.
He completed his education in France, England, and Japan. At the age of 22, he joined the Tata group as an unpaid apprentice
At the age of 34, he took over the reins from his father and under his leadership he founded several industries under the Tata group, including Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, Titan Industries, Tata Salt, Voltas, and Air India.
He was the first Indian citizen to gain a commercial pilot’s license on February 10, 1929. He has been called the 'Father of Indian aviation' for his extensive work in the field.
Tata is the only businessman who has received two of India's highest civilian awards the Padma Vibhushan (1955) and the Bharat Ratna (1992) for his extensive effort in growth of Indian industry. He was also awarded the French Legion of Honour.
Many institutions were established to promote science and arts under his guidance. These included the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Tata Memorial Hospital, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, the National Institute of Advanced Sciences, and the National Centre for the Performing Arts.
In his book The Tata Group: From Torchbearers to Trailblazers, Shashank Shah reveals, “If he saw a dirty airline counter, he would shame everyone by requesting a duster and wiping it himself. From the inside décor to the colour of the air hostess’ saris; from wordings on Air India hoardings to the availability of toilet paper in lavatories on-board, J.R.D. set high benchmarks in hands-on leadership.”