History speaks volumes about India’s contribution to the world. The world looks at India as a poor, babies swarming in every second, polluted and corrupted country. Some of the people born on the Indian soil changed the perspective of the world. Let us turn the pages of history and look back. Zero invented by Aryabhatta, his invention gave a status to million dollars in this world. A scientist who has deciphered the “Raman Effect”, a milestone created in the field of Physics. The social reformers, who raised their voice against the practice of Sati, fought for the freedom and saved the future of the nation. Indian soil has given birth to great leaders, poets, scientists, sportsmen, etc. But I take pride and quote “India is a land of visionaries”. The nation mourned for the former President Late APJ Abdul Kamal, a visionary. His contribution to the science where he would be remembered as the Missile Man. His contribution to literature, he would be remembered for his “Ignited Minds”. His contribution to humanity, he would be remembered as a politician who died serving his vision. He was a visionary who died with a vision and gifting India a vision – “Vision 2020”. While the world is mourning the great loss of a visionary, there is a day approaching ahead to remember another visionary. The 29th July 1904 – a visionary was born in Paris, who brought revolution in the world. It is the birth anniversary of the famous Indian aviator and business tycoon – JRD Tata.
Here, are five things that the world should know about this visionary.
The name is more than just JRD Tata; it is Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata. TATAs are more than just a name; it’s a legacy that has struck the Indian land. He was the second child of Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata and his French wife, Suzanne “Sooni” Briere. His father, RD Tata was the first cousin of another Indian visionary- Jamsetji Tata.
JRD Tata served the French Army, in the regiment called Le Saphis (The Sepoys). Later, he worked as a secretary for a member of his squadron, who was unable to speak, write or type in French or English. After serving for a while, he wished to pursue higher studies at Cambridge. But, his father wanted him to return to the Tata Company in India. In 1929, he renounced his French citizenship and became an Indian citizen.
On 10th February 1929- JRD Tata obtained the first pilot licence issued in India. He is also known as the “Father of Indian civil aviation”. In 1932, he founded India’s first commercial airline, Tata Airlines. Later, in 1946 it was renamed as “Air India”, which is now India’s national airline. In 1948, he launched Air India International as India’s first international airline. In the year 1953, the government crowned him as Chairman of Air India and he was awarded the title of “Honorary Air Commodore of India”.
Hailing from the Tata clan, he joined Tata & Sons as an unpaid apprentice in the year 1925. He provided his unconditional service to the Tata Company and at the age of 34, he was elected as the Chairman of the company. The business flourished from steel to chemicals, power to hospitality, the company took a whooping plunge from US$100 million to US$5 billion. Over 14 enterprises were started by this visionary, by the time he retired Tata & Sons were holding 95 enterprises (directly or indirectly).
In 1945, he founded Tata Motors. Tata Motors is an Indian multi-national automotive manufacturing company. It has been manufacturing passenger cars, trucks, vans, coaches, buses, construction equipment and military vehicles. It is listed as world’s 17th largest motor vehicle. JRD Tata cared for his workers, believed in employee welfare, the principle of working 8-hours a day, free medical aid, accident compensation schemes for the workers. Today, there are thousands of people working for Tata Motors. But, the real impact that it has on the people of Jamshedpur is beyond words. For the people of Jamshedpur, workers at Tata Motors, it is not just an ordinary day. It is a day when the lifeline to their children’s life was established. A visionary who changed the employment scenario in a small city. A vision that keeps the city alive, a vision that has lightened dreams, a vision which has provided food to every worker, a vision that allows the children of the city to sleep soundlessly. Tatas deciphered a meaning to the existence of the city Jamshedpur. A city which was selected as a UN Global Compact City due to the quality of life, conditions of sanitation, roads and welfare offered by the Tata group. There is still a long list of industries, enterprises, achievements to the resume of this great visionary. The highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna JRD Tata is the godfather for the workers at Tata Motors.
“As a child who grew up in the plush green city of Jamshedpur, I have seen the transition of TATA MOTORS from TELCO. The silver and blue painted gate of Tata Motors gave goose bumps to me at the age of 9. As a kid, I don’t remember the day but I do remember the city illuminated with lights on the special days. I don’t remember the contribution of the great heroes, but I do remember the placed named after them. I feel proud that my forefathers, uncles, and my father served the vision of the great visionary. I take pride in hailing from a small city when a worker builds his home with every drop of sweat, every brick of patience. Every school competition associated with this day, the birth anniversary of JRD TATA is still afresh in my mind. The vision which laid the foundation of the industry achieved a milestone. The day Tata Motors launched the cheapest car- Tata Nano, a car for the common man. I hope the spirit remains high; we continue to serve the vision of the great visionaries of India”.
“A tribute to JRD Tata on his 111th birth anniversary”
Reader, Travel blogger and a Budding writer. She lives with a dream of becoming a world renowned writer one day.