Who are TATA?

The Tata Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate, centered in Mumbai, India. It was founded in 1868 and gained international recognition after purchasing several global companies. It is one of India’s largest conglomerates. In 2014-15, the revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $108.78 billion. These companies collectively employ 611,794 people. Each Tata company or enterprise operates independently under the guidance and supervision of its own board of directors and shareholders.

There are 30 publicly-listed Tata enterprises with a combined market capitalisation of about $113.09 billion (as on 16 September 2015). Tata companies with significant scale include:

Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Teleservices, Titan, Tata Communications and Indian Hotels Company.

Brand Finance, a UK-based consultancy firm, has valued Tata’s multi-brand portfolio at over $23 billion in 2015.

The Tata family are established as part of the Indian and international bourgeoisie. Jamsetji Tata, son of Nusserwanji and Jeevanbai Tata, has, as the essence of class standing, within the ancient and feudal order as well as modern capitalism. He was part of the ancient Zoroastrian religion and part of the princely state of Baroda, born in Navsari, in South Gujarat

Jamsedhji Nusserwanji Tata was a pioneer industrialist, who founded the Tata Group, India’s biggest conglomerate company.

He founded what would later become the Tata Group of companies. Jamsetji Tata is regarded as the “Father of Indian Industry”.

Jawaharlal Nehru wanted to honour Jamsetji Tata as one of the big founders of modern India.

He started trading in Mumbai.

Jamsetji joined his father in Mumbai at the age of 14 and enrolled at the Elphinstone College completing his education as a ‘Green Scholar’ (equivalent of today’s graduate). He graduated from college in 1858 and joined his father’s trading firm. It was a turbulent time to step into business as the Indian Rebellion of 1857 had just been suppressed by the British government.

Jamsetji’s knowledge expansion happened through successive trips abroad, mainly to England, America, continental Europe, and other places that convinced him that there was tremendous scope for Indian companies to forge through and make a foray in the British dominated textile industry.

Jamsetji worked in his father’s company until he was 29. He founded a trading company in 1868 with Rs. 21,000 capital. He bought a bankrupt oil mill at Chinchpokli in 1869 and converted it to a cotton mill, which he renamed Alexandra Mill. He sold the mill two years later for a profit. He set up another cotton mill at Nagpur in 1874, which he christened Empress Mill when Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India on 1 January 1877.

He devoted his life to four goals: setting up an iron and steel company, a world-class learning institution, a unique hotel and a hydro-electric plant. Only the hotel became a reality during his lifetime, with the inauguration of the Taj Mahal Hotel at Colaba waterfront in Mumbai on 3 December 1903 at the cost of 42 million rupees (about 11 billion rupees at 2010 prices). At that time it was the only hotel in India to have electricity.

His successors’ work led to the three remaining ideas being achieved:

Tata Steel (formerly TISCO – Tata Iron and Steel Company Limited) is Asia’s first and India’s largest steel company. It became world’s fifth largest steel company, after it acquired Corus Group producing 28 million tonnes of steel annually.
Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, the pre-eminent Indian institution for research and education in Science and Engineering.
Tata Hydroelectric Power Supply Company, renamed Tata Power Company Limited, currently India’s largest private electricity company with an installed generation capacity of over 8000MW.

Jamsetji Tata married Hirabai Daboo. Their sons, Dorabji Tata and Ratanji Tata, succeeded Jamsetji as the chairman of the Tata group.

Tata’s sister Jerbai, through marriage to a Mumbai merchant, became mother of Shapurji Saklatvala, who Jamsetji employed to successfully prospect for coal and iron ore in Bihar and Orissa. Saklatvala later settled in England, initially to manage Tata’s Manchester office, and later became a Communist Member of the British Parliament.

While on a business trip in Germany in 1900, Tata became seriously ill. He died in Bad Nauheim on 19 May 1904, and was buried in the Parsi burial ground in Brookwood Cemetery, Woking, England.

Tata’s iron and steel plant was set up at Sakchi village in jharkhand. The village grew into a town and the railway station there was named Tatanagar. Now it is a bustling metropolis known as Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, named after Jamshetji.

The old village of Sakchi (now urbanised) still exists within the city of Jamshedpur, as its suburb.

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