Biography of Jamsetji N Tata: The Founding Father of Indian Industries And His Legacy


Jamsetji (Jamshedji) N Tata, one of the renowned Indian personalities who needs no introduction. The ‘Founding Father of Indian Industries’ and Business tycoon of Tata empire, born in a parsee priest family, was the one who shaped the Indian economy even during the era of Britishers domination.

On May 19, 1904 Jamsetji bid a goodbye to us and left his legacies for his fellow Indians. Today on the occasion of his death anniversary let’s remember him by knowing more about this great man of vision.

Early Life & Education of Jamsetji Tata

Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata also known as Jamsetji Tata, was born on March 3, 1839 in Navsari, Gujarat at the home of Nusserwanji and Jeevanbai. Born with strong arithmetic abilities, he broke his family tradition of becoming a priest by becoming the first businessman from his family. He studied from Elphinstone college Mumbai as a ‘Green scholar’, which is equivalent to graduation.
During the Era of 1857, the first Indian revolt was on its peak. While most of the people were struggling for India’s Independence, there were a few who were preparing themselves to make India’s future bright with dignity. Jamsetji was one among them.

Professional Life of Jamsetji Tata

While he was studying, in 1858 he joined his father’s export trading firm in Mumbai. At the same time he got married to Hirabai Daboo. During that time opium trading was in demand so he was sent to China by his father to learn about the growing trade of opium, but there he found more opportunities in the cotton industry. Then he decided to learn more about it and today the Indian textile Industry is famous Worldwide for finer quality of clothes due to his efforts.
In 1869, Jamsetji revamped an oil mill at Chinchpokli and converted it into Alexandra Cotton Mill. In 1877, he established another cotton mill named ‘Empress Mill’ when queen Victoria was announced as empress of India on January 1, 1877.
Till the age of 29, he worked with his father and helped him to grow his business in China, Europe, Japan and the USA.

Jamsetji’s Vision For India

Jamsetji was a man of vision and his immense love for his country can be seen in his legacies, which still leave us in aww. He wanted to make India, one of the leading countries by setting up, “An Iron and steel company, a world class learning Institute, a unique majestic hotel with world class facilities and Hydroelectric power plant.

The tiny seed which was sowed by Jamsetji, grew up into the grand form of Taj Mahal Hotel, Inaugurated by him on December 3, 1903 in Colaba, Mumbai. It was the one and only hotel having electricity at that time.

Jamsetji’s Legacy

The great Philanthropist of the 20th century who was referred to by Jawaharlal Nehru as “One-man planning commission”, was truly a pioneer in the world of Industry. Jamsetji Tata was recently awarded as, “2021 Edlegive Hureen Philanthropist of the century”, among top 10 Philanthropists of the century. His total donation was worth around $102.4 billion. Let’s know about his legacies.

Tata Steel

Tata Iron and Steel Company abbreviated as TISCO, set up by Jamsetji Tata, is Asia’s 1st and India’s largest steel company. After the acquisition of Corus group it has become the world’s 5th largest company with a production of 28 million tons of Steel annually.

The Steel City Jamshedpur

The Tata Iron & Steel plant was established at Sakchi village in Jharkhand. Slowly with time, this village grew into a town and was named Tatanagar. Today it is a business metropolis and named after Jamsetji Tata as Jamshedpur.

The Indian Institute of Science

Setting up a world class learning institute was one of the dreams of Jamsetji. To make it into a reality the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru was established in 1909. Today IISc is India’s top ranked University and Research institute.

Tata Power Company Ltd.

Tata Hydroelectric power supply company renamed as Tata Power Company limited is currently India’s largest private company with an installed generation capacity of over 8000 megawatt.

Ahmedabad Textile mill

Being a strong supporter of Swadeshi, Tata established an advanced textile mill in Ahmedabad and Swadeshi Mill in Bombay. By establishing most high tech mills in India, Tata wanted to produce finer clothes like clothes from Manchester and to reduce the burden of imports coming from abroad.

The Sudden Demise of Jamsetji

In the 1900s, when Jamsetji was on a business tour to Germany, he started to become ill. He breathed his last on 19 May, 1904 in Bad Nauheim and left us in grief. Jamsetji’s last riot was performed according to parsi tradition and was buried at the parsi burial ground in Brookwood cemetery working, England.

What Legends Say About Jamsetji

Dr. Zakir Husain, the former President of India says about Jamsetji;
While many others worked on loosening the chains of slavery and hastening the march towards the dawn of freedom, Tata dreamed of and worked for life as it was to be fashioned after liberation. Most of the others worked for freedom from a bad life of servitude, Tata worked for freedom for fashioning a battle life of economic independence.



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