Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, better known as J. R. D. Tata, the father of Indian aviation, the longest-serving chairman of Tata group, founder of many Tata companies and a hero of Indian business. On his 116th birth anniversary, we remember him with great fondness. He had received India’s highest civilian awards the Padma Vibhushan and the Bharat Ratna for his contributions.

JRD Tata started Tata Tea Ltd in 1964, TCS in 1968, and Titan industries in 1987.

 

In 1929, J.R.D Tata got the first pilot license issued in India. He, later on, became the father of civil aviation. He flew the first commercial flight of Tata Aviation, on October 15, 1932, from Karachi to Bombay.

 

In 1952, JRD Tata set up Lakme when then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru requested to make beauty products in India as women were spending forex on them. Lakme started as a 100 per cent subsidiary of Tata Oil Mills (Tomco), was named after French opera Lakmé. In 1996, Tata sold off their stakes in Lakmé to Hindustan Unilever (HUL), for Rs 200 crore.

J.R.D Tata expanded the organization from 14 companies to building 95 companies under the Tata group by the time he retired in 1988, including names like IT bellwether Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tata Motors etc. In 1938, at the age of 34, he was elected as the Chairman of Tata Sons. Under his leadership, Tata assets climbed from Rs 62 crore in 1939 to more than Rs 10,000 crore in 1990. He is known for establishing high ethical standards where he refused to bribe politicians or use the black market. He was the trustee of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. Asia’s first cancer hospital, Tata Memorial Hospital, was established in 1941 in Mumbai, under J.R.D Tata’s guidance.

J.R.D Tata is best known for being the founder of several industries under the Tata Group, including Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, Titan Industries, Tata Salt, Voltas and Air India. He started Tata Tea Ltd in 1964, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in 1968 and Titan industries in 1987.

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