Friday, July 29, 2016

The Immortal Man

On this day 112 years back a person of Indian origin was born in France. None would have thought at that time that he would be remembered so well by millions of Indians with reverence and respect even after close to 25 years after his physical death. I think that makes him immortal. He was not a godman, or a politician, a leader with mass following , or a freedom fighter who would defy the British and go to prison umpteen times. His idea of freedom from the colonial yoke was industrialization.

He is Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata , fondly known as JRD Tata.  JRD was the successor of the Tata Group patriarch Jamestji Tata, who was a cousin to his father. 
JRD started as an apprentice ( unpaid I believe ) in the Tata Group at the age of 21 and became the Chairman of the flagship company Tata Sons by the age of 34. Once when asked the secret of his success, JRD replied that since he had no university education, he encouraged those who had.

Till a couple of decades back, the Leftist political parties and anti-industrialists used to  refer Tatas in a derogatory manner portraying them as greedy.  Tata and  Birla, as a phrase had become at that time a reference to super rich, personification of inhumane approach to business and profits. How wrong it was.

Indian Govt. Follows Tatas:

Nowhere in the world an elected government had taken a leaf out of the best practices of an industrial group for the welfare of the workers. It was JRD who on his own accord had introduced 8-hour work day, free medical aid , PF , accident compensation and several other worker welfare initiatives. The Indian Government adopted the same measures and made them mandatory after several years.

JRD was the only one who introduced the concept of the worker being deemed to be “ at work” from the moment he left his home for work till he reached home “ after work”, making Tata Steel financially liable for any mishap to the worker to & from work.

An avid aviator, JRD was the first Indian to obtain a pilot license  in 1929 and launched Tata aviation service in 1932. JRD started off as Chairman of Tata Group ( Tata Sons ) with just over a dozen enterprises and after five  decades he left the group with nearly a hundred companies. The feather in the cap was the starting of TCS in 1968, when except the scientific community, even Indian industry had no idea of computers and the possibilities they bring to the table.

A Humanitarian and a True Visionary:

Even several years before Independence, JRD had founded such iconic institutes  like Tata Cancer  Research & Treatment Institute, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and National Center for Performing Arts. These institutes are the shining examples of excellence even now like their Founder.

A few of JRD’s Famous Quotes:

Ø Money is like manure. It stinks when you pile it ; It grows when you spread it.
Ø No success or achievement in material terms is worthwhile, unless it is achieved by fair and honest means.
Ø Most of our troubles are due to poor implementation, wrong priorities and unattainable targets. 
 Awards bestowed on JRD were umpteen,including Bharat Ratna.
 He was succeeded by Ratan Tata.
 JRD Tata died on November 29th, 1993 but his memory will live on forever.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

True Ramana , article written by your heart . They do not make JRD moulds . Single piece