About Jamsetji Tata: This man needs no introduction; he was the founder of Tata Group. In fact he sowed the seeds of industrialization in India. He is rightly called the ‘Father of Indian Industry’, in fact he was the first businessman in his family. He belonged to a family of Parsi and Zoroastrian priests. He was indeed a stalwart who helped India to progress a lot.
Early Life and Education
Better known as Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, he was the only son of Nusserwanji Tata. He was born in the year 1839 in a small town in South Gujarat. It was but natural that he would assist his family in priesthood, but then he defied the conventional occupation. He was a bright student and completed his education in Mumbai’s Elphinstone College. He joined his father in Mumbai at the age of fourteen. He completed his studies as a ‘Green Scholar’ which is equivalent to today’s graduation. He joined his father’s business just after completing his education. India was going through a very tumultuous situation at that point of time as the Indian Rebellion of 1857 was suppressed by the British government. Jamsetji Tata’s huge knowledge expansion happened after he made successive trips to foreign countries like England and America. He realized that India had the potential to dominate in the textile industry which was then ruled by the British. He worked in his father’s company till the age of 29 and then started a company on his own.
Jamsetji started his own trading company in the year 1868 and invested a capital of 21,000. He bought an oil mill which went bankrupt and converted it into a cotton mill and christened it as Alexandra Mill. He sold the mill after two years for profit. He was very clear on the goals of his life and wanted to set up an iron and steel company, world class learning institution, a unique hotel and a hydro electric power plant. Out of the four ambitions, only the hotel became a reality during his lifetime. The Taj Mahal Hotel at Colaba was very precious to him and a lot of money and the hard work of many people were behind the construction of this hotel. An estimated amount of Rs 42 million was invested in it. It was the only hotel containing electricity at that time. His other dreams were fulfilled by his successors, like that of establishing Tata Steel, setting up of Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and Tata Power Company Limited. He was indeed a stalwart and established India as one of the industrialized countries in the world. The bustling metropolis, Jamshedpur was named in his honor. The cotton mills and other companies initiated by Jamsetji Tata came to be known as Tata Group and are the largest private sector business.