The Becoming Of J.R.D Tata Into The Father Of Indian Aviation!


Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, or just Tata, is a legend by various means. It won’t be wrong or punny to say that he is indeed the real-life Tony Stark for India. Though initially, Tata was a French-born, Indian aviator, however, he later evolved as an unparalleled business tycoon.

What many don’t know is that Tata India’s preeminent licensed pilot, having restrained in 1929. For his exceptional augmentation to industries, he has bestowed the French Legion of Honour in 1983 and the Bharat Ratna in 1992.

JRD Tata was born on 29th July 1904 in Paris to Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, who was the first cousin of Jamshedji Tata and one of the co-workers of Tata Sons, and his wife Susanne Brière. He has an older sister named Sylla, a fresher sister Rodabeh and two younger siblings Darab and Jimmy Tata.

Given that his mother was French, he donated most of his childhood in France, gaining up with French as his primary language.

Jehangir chaperoned the Janson De Sailly School in Paris, where he was frequently confused for an Egyptian. He also attended the Cathedral and John Connon School, in Mumbai, when his family relocated to India after his mother’s untimely demise. Later he attended colleges in England, and Japan.

He also relocated once again with his family to London when his father met Tata Sons. Although he wished to attend the Cambridge School to study Engineering, he couldn’t; since French boys had to enlist in the Army for a modicum of 12 months.

After his consignment in the army was over, his father insisted that JRD retort to India and start operating at Tata. So, he joined the company as an uncompensated intern in 1925, but by 1938, at the age of 34, JRD was elected Chairman of Tata & Sons proffering him the head of the greatest industrial group in India.

It was in 1929 that he forsook his French Citizenship and became an Indian. JRD was the first licensed pilot in India when he received his license in February 1929. Having been heavily inspired by Louis Blériot, a famous French aviator.

In 1938, when he was elected as the chairman of the board at Tata & Sons, he became the head of the largest Industrial group in India. He took over the post from his second cousin Nowroji Saklatwala.

For decades he drove the company to the farthest care and upright insignias. He drove the Tata Group of companies into excellence in various fields such as Steel, engineering, electricity, power and hospitality.

The Indian city of Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) was also selected as a UN Global Compact City because of the quality of life, conditions of sanitation, roads and welfare that were offered by Tata Steel.

He is also the founder of Tata tea and Voltas aside the big brands aforementioned. Under his chairmanship, the assets of the Tata Group grew from US $100 million to over US$5 billion.

He is and always be kenned as the father of Indian civil aviation. He founded India’s first commercial airline, Tata Airlines in 1932, which became Air India in 1946, now India’s national airline.

JRD Tata and his friend Nevill Vintcent worked together in building Tata Airlines.

In 1948, Air India operated globally as Air India International under JRD Tata’s leadership. In 1953, he was appointed the Chairman of the board for Air India and inducted into the board of Indian Airlines.

For his remarkable executions in aviation, he was bequeathed with the degree of Honorary Air Commodore of India.

He started with 14 businesses under his authority and on 26 July 1988, and when he retired, Tata & Sons was a conglomerate of 95 enterprises which they either started or in which they had a governing interest.

As a trustee of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust from its commencement in 1932, JRD Tata made a lot of positive modifications for the common man in India.

He built the Tata Memorial Center for Cancer, Research and Treatment in 1941 through the trust, which is the first Cancer Research Hospital in Asia.

He also founded the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in 1936, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in 1945, and the National Center for Performing Arts.

JRD Tata passed away on 29 November 1993 at the age of 89 of a kidney contamination in Geneva, Switzerland. He has been cremated at Paris’ famous Père Lachaise Cemetery the same place as Honoré de Balzac and the famous writer Oscar Wilde.

And to his unforgettable presence and dominance in Indian business scenario among many other awards, JRD Tata received the prestigious Bharat Ratna in 1992.