Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Jamsetji Tata (3 March 1839 – 19 May 1904)

The Parsi community had landed as refugees from Iran a thousand years earlier. The Parsi faith was founded by Prophet Zarathustra sometime between 1500 and 800 BC. Jamsetji was greatly influenced by the tenets of the faith.

He was born in 1839, in a Zoroastrian, or Parsi family in a small town of Gujarat, India.

At the age fourteen he was sent to Bombay for education under scholars. At the age seventeen he joined Elphinstone College, Bombay.  At college Jamsetji acquired a taste for books, Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, both English novelists and Marl Twain, the American humorist, were hio favorite writers.

Soon after Jamsetji came out of college he was apprenticed to a solicitor’s firm. After a short stint he joined his father's trading firm. His father was engaged in cotton, opium, silk and spices trade with China.

As a trader on the cotton market he made and lost a fortune during the American Civil War of the 1860s. He subsequently opened a cotton textile mill in the unpromising central Indian city of Nagpur.

In 1867, the year in which   28 year old Jamsetji established the trading firm Tata and Sons and took as his partners his eldest son Dorab and a young nephew called Ratanji Tata.  That was the modest beginning of a brand that is today valued in billions of dollars.

It was Jamsetji who at the beginning of the 20th century had conceived the first steel plant, the first hydroelectric project, and University of Science for the country.

The Tatas war India’s largest business house with investments in steel, trucks, locomotives, chemicals, equipments, power hotels, consumers products, etc.

By 2008, the sales revenue of the Tata group of companies had reached US$ 65 billion.
Jamsetji Tata (3 March 1839 – 19 May 1904)

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