Who is the Father of the Indian Domestic Aviation Sector?

JRD Tata, Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata is the father of the Indian Domestic Aviation Sector. He is an entrepreneur who comes from a very famous and well-reputed family of India, The Tata family. JRD Tata was the chairman of Tata industries and has had his glory days since then. 

Born on 29 July, 1904 in France, his mother is a French woman and father is from the India. JRD Tata is the youngest son of the well established Indian businessman, Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata and his wife Suzanne.

Did you know that his mother is the first lady in India who drove a car? Tata on the other hand, got his first license of Aviation in 1929.

The Tata family has earned contributed to India via various industries like Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, Titan Industries, Tata Salt, Voltas and Air India. Jamshedji Tata was the founder of these industries. 

Journey of JRD Tata

JRD Tata's journey in the Tata industries is not ideal as many people thought it to be. In 1925 he started working as an unpaid trainee in one of their industries, Tata Sons.

In 1938, when he was only 34 years old, he was elected as the chairman of Tata Sons and also had the added responsibility of being the head of India's largest industrial group. He directed and headed Tata Group and companies for many decades, his major interest being in steel, engineering, power, chemicals and hospitality.

His achievements become more prominent because of his ethical standards, for refusing bribe, involvement with any politicians and using the black market. He gained the trust of the mases through his strict policies. 

He took the chairmanship from his second cousin, Nowroji Saklatwala and became the chairman of Tata Sons. JRD Tata bought Tata Group for $100 million to almost over  $5 billion, all under the leadership of an extremely powerful and a man of values. 

He started with 14 enterprises and took Tata Sons to 95 enterprises when he resigned from his duties on 26 July, 1988. His leadership comprises of almost half a century in the Tata Group. Tata was also the trustee of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust right from its beginning in 1932. 

He contributed to the trust and its welfare for over almost half of a century. He had established India's first cancer trust called Tata Memorial Centre for Cancer, Research and Treatment in Bombay in 1941. This medical centre has helped India achieve great heights in the healthcare sector. 

Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)  was also founded by JRD Tata in 1936. It is a profound educational institution which has also given birth to several future leaders. 

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and the Centre for Performing Arts was founded by JRD Tata. He was contributed in almost every field of the economy and not just filtered the white and black money, but also exported various goods which has contributed to the national revenue of India. 

Birth of Air India

JRD Tata started and founded the Tata Motors in 1945 and launched the Air India International as India's first international airline. In 1953, he was appointed as the Chairman by the Indian government and held on to his esteemed seat for 25 years.  

This made him the director on the Board of Indian Airlines for 25 years. His excellent services in Aviation he was honoured with the title of Honorary Air Commodore of India.

After 68 years, Tata was able to win the bet and today, Air India has come back to its rightful owners, the Tata's. They have already started working towards improving and restoring the historic airlines back. 

Relationship With Employees

We all know that the Tata company has always cared for its employees. It all started in 1956 when JRD Tata initiated a programme of closure called "employee association with management " to give workers a stronger voice in the company affairs.

He also believed in welfare and espoused the principles of an eight-hour working day policy, free medical aid, provident fund scheme. He believed in the well-being of all which is proved by how he has treated and cared for his employees. 

Other Contributions 

In 1956, JRD Tata became the founding member of India's body of NCAER, the National Council of Applied Economics in New Delhi. In 1968 he founded Tata Consultancy Services as a Computer Centre and in 19987, he Titan Industries. 

Jamshedpur city is also selected as a UN Global Compact City for the quality of life, sanitation conditions, road and welfare that was also offered by Tata Steel.

  • 1983 : French Legion of honour award
  • 1955 : Padma Vibhushan
  • 1992 : Bharat Ratan
  • 1948 : Group Captain in Indian Air force
  • 1974 : Promoted as the Air Vice marshal rank
  • 1979 : Tony Jannus Award
  • 1985 : Gold Air Medal (Federation of Aeronautique International)
In 1992 when he was awarded with the Bharat Ratan for his efforts in starting and successfully implementing the family planning movement in India by the United Nation. 

In his remembrance of the most influential businessman and humanitarian model, the Government of Maharashtra named his first double-decker bridge which was built at Nashik Phata, Pimpri Chinchwad as the Bharatratna JRD Tata Overbridge.

On 29 November, 199, the country bid adieu to its most loved businessman when he died in Switzerland due to a kidney infection.

Written by Ritik Gupta
Edited by Jerusha Patel 

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