Today is the 118th birth anniversary of Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, better known as JRD Tata, the longest-serving chairman of Tata Group. Born on July 29, 1904, JRD Tata is known as the father of Indian aviation and founded many Tata companies.
Tata, a visionary businessman, made significant contributions to society’s advancement.
Once, he had remarked, “I do not desire India to become a world economic power. I want India to be a content nation.”
Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, the man behind the enormous Tata Empire, was born a French citizen but adopted Indian citizenship to grow an industrial group of 14 businesses with a net worth of $100 million into a conglomerate of 95 businesses with an astounding net worth of US $5 billion. Even if he might not be present physically, his accomplishments have a lasting influence.
Early Life And Achievements Of JRD Tata
On July 29, 1904, in Paris, France, JRD Tata was born Jehangir to an Indian Parsi family who did not live there. He was the child of renowned industrialist Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata and his wife Suzanne Brière, the country of India’s first female driver.
JRD In London, Tata finished his schooling. The French Army was his next stop, where he served for a year.
JRD Tata joined Tata & Sons in 1925 as an unpaid trainee after returning to India. JRD Tata became the chairman of the Tata Group in 1938 after serving for 12 years.
The assets of the Tata Group rose from $101 million to $5 billion during his direction. 14 companies were initially part of Tata Sons, and by the time he left in 1988, it had expanded to a conglomerate of 95 businessIndia.
First Licensed Pilot of India
RD Jehangir It’s no secret that Tata adores flying and airlines. However, the link between his pilot’s licence and the inaugural flight of Air India dates back to 1929.
He had made up his mind by the time he was 15 years old. He desired a career in aviation and wanted to learn how to fly. However, he was forced to endure a lengthy nine-year wait before he could realise his ambition. When a flying club in Bombay opened, the 24-year-old hurried to earn his pilot’s licence.
He obtained his pilot’s licence in 1929 and was India’s first. He was the first person to qualify in India, thus the Aero Club of India and Burma stamped the number “1” on his licence.
JRD piloted a single-engine De Havilland Puss Moth for the first flight in Indian aviation history, which took off from Drigh near Karachi to Madras on October 15, 1932.
In 1932, he founded Air India, the country’s first domestic airline. Tata served as chairman when Air India was nationalised in 1953.
For 50 years, he was a trustee for the Dorabji Tata Trust. The trust constructed the first cancer hospital in Asia. The Tata Memorial Center for Cancer was founded in 1941 and is run by JRD Tata.
In addition, he founded a number of businesses that are part of the Tata Group, including Voltas, Titan Industries, Tata Consultancy Services, and Tata Motors.
JRD Tata’s Recognition And Awards
JRD Tata received various honours. He received the honorary title of group captain from the Indian Air Force in 1948. Later, on October 4, 1966, he was made Air Commodore, and on April 1, 1974, he was made Air Vice Marshal.
Due to his unselfish humanitarian efforts, he also acquired a number of international honours, including The French Legion of Honor in 1983.
He also received the highest civilian distinction bestowed by India, the Bharat Ratna, in 1992 after receiving the Padma Vibhushan in 1955.
The United Nations Population Award was also given to Tata for his crusading efforts in starting and successfully executing the family planning movement in India, long before it became popular.
Death of JRD Tata
At the age of 89, Tata died suddenly from kidney illness in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 29, 1993. As evidenced by his last words, “Comme c’est doux de mourir,” spoken a few days before his passing, he gracefully accepted death. It translates to “How soft it is to die.”
Parliament was recessed in honour of him upon his passing. It is a distinction that non-parliamentarians receive infrequently. He was buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
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