The Swadeshi program initiated in pre-independent times made India self-reliant in all aspects. An essential part of this program was the setting up of the Tata Iron and Steel Company, the first Asian integrated steel plant, in the year 1907. Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata, the founder of the Tata Empire, therefore is regarded as a key figure in India’s ‘Industrial Revolution’. Jamshedpur is commonly referred to as ‘Tatanagar’ or ‘Steel City’ in recognition of the company’s significant presence in the eastern region.
All through their almost 150 year history, the Tatas have been led by visionaries whohave shaped the nation’s destiny in many ways. Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhai Tata, popularly known as JRD, was not only a successful industrialist but also pioneered civil aviation in India.
From manufacturing steel and automobiles, to selling tea, from creating jewelry, watches and cosmetics, to making salt, from financial services to generating power for the people, the Tatas have touched every part of Indian life. They also led the way in setting up infotech services in India when the Tata Consultancy Services was established in the year 1968.
Mr. Ratan Tata’s dream car, the Tata Indica was India’s very first indigenously designed and developed car and was launched in 1998, seen today on the city streets in its many avatars. The Tatas not only dominate the list of ‘Firsts’ in India, but also made it to the International list when the One Lakh Car, the Tata Nano was launched. While the Nano is still to be out in the markets, all of India and the world is holding its breath in anticipation. From a small hamlet of ‘Kalimati’ to the take over of the Anglo- Dutch Steel maker Corus’ the Tatas, have come a long way. They have shown the way towards India’s entry into global business. They have also acquired and created manufacturing and marketing networks in Europe, South East Asia and the Pacific-rim countries.
The spirit of the Tatas was very evident during the 26/11 crisis and after. The Taj hotel has risen like a phoenix from its ashes despite being badly bruised. Ratan Tata, the Tata group chairman, emphatically said “We can be hurt but not knocked down”.
All Tata companies share a set of five core values of Integrity, Understanding, Excellence, Unity and Responsibility. The Group and its companies have been distinctive in their adherence to business ethics and their commitment to corporate social responsibility. This legacy has earned the trust of the Group’s stakeholders in a measure few business houses can ever match.
The purpose of the Tata group is to improve the quality of life of the communities they serve. Thus, they have targeted various key rural development issues and have aided in the progress of the suppressed sections of society by setting up projects like the Central India Initiative, Himmothan Pariyojana, Kharash Vistarotthan Yojana and also by reviving the Green Revolution in India.
Tatas believe in giving back to the society, what they have earned from it. As part of their corporate social responsibility, the Tatas have organized various Domestic Management Programs, in Jamshedpur, for the housewives of the employees of the company. They have also organized programs like ‘Tejaswini’ for the empowerment and upliftment of the female section of society.
The Sir Dorabji Tata Trust was established with a vision for the development of the nation. The Tata Institute Of Fundamental Research (Mumbai), Tata Institute Of Social Sciences (Mumbai), the Tata Memorial Hospital For Cancer (Mumbai), Sadhaan Education Resource Centre (Jaipur), Indian Institute Of Science (Bangalore) are a few of the esteemed institutions that have been set up by the Tatas.
The new thrust is on climate change which is an imminent threat to mankind. Tata companies are focusing on minimising the impact of their operations and creating awareness in society.
While the city of Jamshedpur was being built, Jamshedji Tata had said, “Be sure to lay wide streets planted with shady trees, every other of a quick growing variety. Be sure that there is plenty of space for lawns and gardens; reserve large areas for football, hockey and parks; earmark areas for Hindu temples, Mohammedan mosques and Christian churches.”, and this is exactly how Jamshedpur is today.
Jamshedji Tata’s birthday on 3rd March is commemorated as founder’s day. The most important ‘Tata’ city, Jamshedpur, wears a festive look and a variety of functions are held to mark this occasion. The celebrations kick off with fireworks and a dazzling illumination of the Jubilee Park, which was presented to the city on the completion of it’s 50 years. This is the day the Tatas re-dedicate themselves to society and nation building.
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