Tata World - J N Tata

Early Years

Jamshedji Tata was born to Nusserwanji and Jeevanbai Tata on 3 March 1839 in a family of Parsi Zoroastrian priests of Navsari, a small town in South Gujarat. Nusserwanji Tata was the first businessman in a family as he moved to Bombay and started trading. His early education took place in Navsari later Jamshedji also joined his father in Bombay at the age of 14 and enrolled as 'free student' at the Elphinstone College. He was married to Hirabai Daboo, while still being a student. He graduated from college in 1858 as a "Green Scholar" which was then the equivalent of a degree and joined his father's trading firm. It was a turbulent time to step into business as the Indian Rebellion of 1857 had just been defeated by the British government.

Business Ventures

His initial trading ventures in the Far East and Europe Jamsetji started his own private firm with a capital of Rs.21,000. Unlike his contemporaries, he went to Nagpur, from where the cotton came from and established a mill there. It was named the Central India Spinning, Weaving, and Manufacturing Company. On January 1, 1877, when Queen Victoria became the Empress of India, the mill opened, and was called Empress mill.

His Vision

He personally looked after every little detail of its growth. Here he tried experiments in technology and labour. He was man with great quality consciousness and nothing but the best was good enough for him. Jamsetji realised that India's greatness would depend on the widespread advancement in learning and industrialisation. In 1900, Jamsetji won the support of Britain's Secretary of State for India, Lord George Hamilton. He visited the United States, studied coking processes, and inspected the ore markets there. The Tata Iron and Steel Company(now knows as Tata Steel) situated in Jamshedpur was a result of this learning.

He felt Bombay needed a modern hotel in keeping with its importance and also to attract more people to India. Since no other businessman would venture it, he decided to build it himself. It was Jamsetji's gift to the city of Bombay and The Taj Mahal continues to inspire millions of Indias, to this day.

Philanthropy & Business of values

Advanced learning was not available in India at that time. In 1892 Jamsetji endowed a fund for the higher education abroad for deserving students. In September 1898, he set aside fourteen of his buildings and four landed properties in Bombay for an endowment to establish a University of Science. His donations were worth a staggering Rs.30 lakhs in those days.

After a chance meeting between Jamsetji N. Tata and Swami Vivekananda on a ship in 1893 where they discussed Tata's plan of bringing the steel industry to India. Impressed by Vivekananda's views on science and leadership abilities, Tata wanted him to guide his campaign in establishing a research Institute in India. Vivekananda endorsed the project with enthusiasm. The Maharaja of Mysore, the then British government of India and Tata together established the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore in 1909.

He passed away in Germany, on May 19, 1904.


The company started by Jamsetji Tata came to be known as the Tata Group and is today among the largest and most respected companies of the world. Jamsetji, was however, known for much more than just starting a company. He was a pioneer in his field.