Moneycontrol
Last Updated : Nov 29, 2018 02:56 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Aviation to cosmetics: 9 companies founded by JRD Tata

On JRD Tata's 25th death anniversary, let's take a look back some of the companies he left behind. Here is to the man whose never ending endeavours brought about an industrial revolution in the country.

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Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, popularly known as JRD Tata, was the visionary entrepreneur who is widely credited for ushering in an era of rapid industrialisation in the country at a time when it was emerging from the yoke of colonialism. He laid the foundation to multiple companies, and consolidated the preeminent standing of one of India's foremost industrial groups. At the helm of the Tata Group for nearly five decades, JRD expanded the organisation from the 14 firms he inherited, to building an empire comprising of 95 companies by the time he retired in 1988. On his 25th death anniversary, let's look back at his legacy. (Image: Wikipedia)
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Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, popularly known as JRD Tata, was the visionary entrepreneur who is widely credited for ushering in an era of rapid industrialisation in the country at a time when it was emerging from the yoke of colonialism. He laid the foundation to multiple companies, and consolidated the preeminent standing of one of India's foremost industrial groups. At the helm of the Tata Group for nearly five decades, JRD expanded the organisation from the 14 firms he inherited, to building an empire comprising of 95 companies by the time he retired in 1988. On his 25th death anniversary, let's look back at his legacy. (Image: Wikipedia)

Tata Motors | Founded in 1945 as a manufacturer of locomotives, Tata Motors redefined the automotive space in India with JRD Tata's astute vision. From manufacturing India's first fully indigenous passenger car, the Indica, to launching the world's cheapest car Tata Nano, the company has continued you to push the baton in the auto industry. Today, it is the largest automotive company in the world with operations spreading across India as well as in Argentina, South Africa, Great Britain and Thailand. (Image: Reuters)
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Tata Motors | Founded in 1945 as a manufacturer of locomotives, Tata Motors redefined the automotive space in India with JRD Tata's astute vision. From manufacturing India's first fully indigenous passenger car, the Indica, to launching the world's cheapest car Tata Nano, the company has continued you to push the baton in the auto industry. Today, it is the largest automotive company in the world with operations spreading across India as well as in Argentina, South Africa, Great Britain and Thailand. (Image: Reuters)

Air India | Before India's flagship carrier was nationalised, Air India operated as Tata Airlines under the leadership of JRD Tata. Often considered as the golden period for the now distressed airline, the tales of Tata's hands-on approach in leading the company has acquired a legendary status. From wording the Air India hoardings to deciding the level to which wine was poured into a glass, everything went through Tata. He was so deeply involved in the functioning of the airline that on one occasion he didn’t shy away from joining the crew to clean a dirty aircraft toilet.
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Air India | Before India's flagship carrier was nationalised, Air India operated as Tata Airlines under the leadership of JRD Tata. Often considered as the golden period for the now distressed airline, the tales of Tata's hands-on approach in leading the company has acquired a legendary status. From wording the Air India hoardings to deciding the level to which wine was poured into a glass, everything went through Tata. He was so deeply involved in the functioning of the airline that on one occasion he didn’t shy away from joining the crew to clean a dirty aircraft toilet.

Tata Consultancy Services | The inception of TCS is a testament to the vision of JRD Tata, who brought about an automation revolution when the industry was reluctant to deploy computers amidst fears of their potential to replace human labour. In 1968, the Tata conglomerate was already blooming and the need for data processing under a single business unit was imperative. While in the early days, TSC lent its services only to its sister companies, it is now the first Indian IT company to breach $100 billion market capitalisation, with operations in over 46 countries.
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Tata Consultancy Services | The inception of TCS is a testament to the vision of JRD Tata, who brought about an automation revolution when the industry was reluctant to deploy computers amidst fears of their potential to replace human labour. In 1968, the Tata conglomerate was already blooming and the need for data processing under a single business unit was imperative. While in the early days, TSC lent its services only to its sister companies, it is now the first Indian IT company to breach $100 billion market capitalisation, with operations in over 46 countries.

Tata Global Beverages | Founded in 1964, the company suffered a tumultuous gestation period as the tea industry in India came under pressure due to rising input and labour costs, dwindling margins, as well as high taxes. The industry not only faced threat from China but also from other countries. With brands such as Kannan Devan, Agni, Gemini and Chakra Gold under its ambit, Tata Global Beverages has become the world's second-largest manufacturer and distributor of tea and a major producer of coffee. In 2012, the company brought renowned coffeehouse chain Starbucks to India in a 50/50 joint venture. (Image: Reuters)
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Tata Global Beverages | Founded in 1964, the company suffered a tumultuous gestation period as the tea industry in India came under pressure due to rising input and labour costs, dwindling margins, as well as high taxes. The industry not only faced threat from China but also from other countries. With brands such as Kannan Devan, Agni, Gemini and Chakra Gold under its ambit, Tata Global Beverages has become the world's second-largest manufacturer and distributor of tea and a major producer of coffee. In 2012, the company brought renowned coffeehouse chain Starbucks to India in a 50/50 joint venture. (Image: Reuters)

Tata Salt | Embodying their slogan, "Desh Ki Sehat, Desh Ka Namak", Tata forayed into necessity goods with the establishment of Tata Salt. It is now India's biggest packaged salt brand with a market capitalisation of 17 percent. The company has left a footprint in over 16.6 lakh retail outlets, reaching 135 million households across the country each month. (Image: Tata Salt)
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Tata Salt | Embodying their slogan, "Desh Ki Sehat, Desh Ka Namak", Tata forayed into necessity goods with the establishment of Tata Salt. It is now India's biggest packaged salt brand with a market capitalisation of 17 percent. The company has left a footprint in over 16.6 lakh retail outlets, reaching 135 million households across the country each month. (Image: Tata Salt)

Tata Chemicals | In a 1988 interview with M Rahman, JRD famously said, "In well-run companies, succession should be created in advance." As for all the companies he nurtured, this was also true for Tata Chemicals. Not only has the company been one of the leading entities in the chemical industry, but its 2008 acquisition of US-based General Chemical Industrial Products made it the world's second-largest maker of soda ash. It's R&D department is currently working in fields such as green chemistry, biochemicals, metabolites, and nutraceuticals among others.
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Tata Chemicals | In a 1988 interview with M Rahman, JRD famously said, "In well-run companies, succession should be created in advance." As for all the companies he nurtured, this was also true for Tata Chemicals. Not only has the company been one of the leading entities in the chemical industry, but its 2008 acquisition of US-based General Chemical Industrial Products made it the world's second-largest maker of soda ash. It's R&D department is currently working in fields such as green chemistry, biochemicals, metabolites, and nutraceuticals among others.

Tata Interactive Systems | Apart from his contributions to the industrial development, Tata is also a known philanthropist. In the twilight of life, he founded TIS that was geared toward promoting digital education in the country. Today, the company offers corporations, schools, universities and government institutions training including story-based learning, simulations, courseware, special-needs education, mobile learning and much more. It is the only digital education company in the world to be assessed at Level 5 in both P-CMM (People-Capability Maturity Model) frameworks and SEI-CMM (Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute’s Capability Maturity Model).
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Tata Interactive Systems | Apart from his contributions to the industrial development, Tata is also a known philanthropist. In the twilight of life, he founded TIS that was geared toward promoting digital education in the country. Today, the company offers corporations, schools, universities and government institutions training including story-based learning, simulations, courseware, special-needs education, mobile learning and much more. It is the only digital education company in the world to be assessed at Level 5 in both P-CMM (People-Capability Maturity Model) frameworks and SEI-CMM (Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute’s Capability Maturity Model).

Lakmé Cosmetics | JRD Tata founded India's first cosmetic brand, Lakme, to address erstwhile Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's concerns that precious foreign exchange was being spent on beauty products. The company was named after French opera Lakmé ( French counterpart of Lakshmi), paying ode to his French heritage. Three years after the death of JRD, Tata sold their stakes in Lakmé to Hindustan Unilever, for Rs 200 crore. Today, it is one of the most renowned cosmetic brands in India. (Image: Reuters)
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Lakmé Cosmetics | JRD Tata founded India's first cosmetic brand, Lakme, to address erstwhile Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's concerns that precious foreign exchange was being spent on beauty products. The company was named after French opera Lakmé ( French counterpart of Lakshmi), paying ode to his French heritage. Three years after the death of JRD, Tata sold their stakes in Lakmé to Hindustan Unilever, for Rs 200 crore. Today, it is one of the most renowned cosmetic brands in India. (Image: Reuters)

Titan Industries | The company was founded in 1984 to manufacture quartz analogue electronic watches. Today, Titan is the Tata Group's largest consumer organisation having diversified into jewellery, optics and other luxury items. Titan is a house of well-known brands such as Tanishq, Titan Eyeplus and Fastrack. In 2007, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of JRD Tata’s first flight in India, Titan launched the Aviator series watches, inspired by his pioneering spirit and larger-than-life persona. (Image: Titan)
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Titan Industries | The company was founded in 1984 to manufacture quartz analogue electronic watches. Today, Titan is the Tata Group's largest consumer organisation having diversified into jewellery, optics and other luxury items. Titan is a house of well-known brands such as Tanishq, Titan Eyeplus and Fastrack. In 2007, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of JRD Tata’s first flight in India, Titan launched the Aviator series watches, inspired by his pioneering spirit and larger-than-life persona. (Image: Titan)

First Published on Nov 29, 2018 01:09 pm
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