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Birth Anniversary – J.R.D. Tata – Visionary, Entrepreneur, Aviator

Let us all join the Nation in celebrating the 116th Birth Anniversary of one of the biggest visionaries responsible for Industrial growth in India.

Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata (popular to the world as J.R.D. Tata) was born to famed businessman Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata and Suzanee Briere (the first woman to drive a car in India) at Paris on 29th July, 1904. Since his mother was French, a significant part of his childhood was spent in Paris and French was the first language he learnt. His education made him cross multiple borders, he got educated from institutions in India, France, Japan and London. Being a French citizen by birth, he also had to do mandatory Army service for a year, where his ability to read and write both French and English, ensured that he was mostly given an office job after initially joining in the field operations. He gave up his French Citizenship in 1935 and became an Indian citizen, which he continued to be till his death in 1993.

It is not unknown to anyone how he took Tata Group to newer heights and made it an industrial giant. He was the person responsible for setting up the hugely successful Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Service, Tata Salt, Voltas and Titan Industries. He was honoured with India’s highest civilian award, The Bharat Ratna, as well as the highest award given to French civilians, The French Legion of Honour.

Let us look into some other amazing facets of his life:

  • He was an aviator by passion and was the first person from India to get a commercial license to fly airplanes in 1929. This also made him the pioneer for Indian aviation Industry.
  • India’s national carrier, Air India, though currently a Government of India entity was actually founded by JRD Tata in 1932. However, the Government appointed JRD Tata as the Chairman of Air India and a Director on the Board of Indian Airlines. He continued serving in these roles for more than 25 years.
  • He became the youngest Chairman of Tata Sons, when he was just 34, his focus on aggressive growth made the Company a huge conglomerate that had 95 entities under its wing. His Chairmanship saw the assets of the company grow from USD 100 Million net worth to more than USD 5 Billion.
  • He served as the trustee of Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, right from its initiation in 1932, for more than half a century. This Trust was responsible for setting up the first Cancer Hospital in Asia, the Tata Memorial Centre for Cancer, Research and Treatment, Bombay in the year 1941.
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Let us pay our rich tributes to this pioneering figure, who was responsible for the rapid industrial growth of the country.

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