03 March 2015 :: The 176th Birth Anniversary of Jamsetji Tata [ 3rd of March 1839 ]
Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata ( 3 March 1839 – 19 May 1904) was an Indian pioneer industrialist, who founded the Tata Group, India’s biggest conglomerate company. He was born to a Parsi Zoroastrian family in Navsari then part of the princely state of Baroda.
He founded what would later become the Tata Group of companies. Jamsetji Tata is regarded as the legendary “Father of Indian Industry”.
Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata was born to Nusserwanji and Jeevanbai Tata on 3 March 1839 in Navsari, a small town in South Gujarat. Tata was the first businessman in a family of Parsi Zoroastrian priests. It was only natural that Nusserwanji, would, as usual join the family priesthood, but the enterprising youngster broke the tradition to become the first member of the family to try his hand at business. 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 was married to Hirabai Daboo while he was still a student. 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 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 Bombay 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.