|JEHANGIR RATANJI DADABHOY TATA | | | |Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata popularly known as JRD Tata was one of the most enterprising Indian entrepreneurs. He was a pioneer | |aviator and built one of the largest industrial houses of India. He had the honour of being India's first pilot, he was Chairman of | |Tata & Sons for 50 years and launched Air India International as India's first international airline. He was awarded India's highest | |civilian award, the Bharat Ratna in 1992. |
[pic]Early life and education
J.R.D. Tata was born in Paris, France, the second child of Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata (Parsi) and his French wife, Suzanne "Sooni" Brière. J.R.D. was an interesting product of two continents. He was educated in France, Japan and England before being drafted into the French army and assigned to a regiment in France called Le Saphis for a mandatory one-year period. JRD wanted to extend his service in the forces but destiny had something else in store for him. By leaving the French army JRD's life was saved because shortly thereafter, the regiment in which he served was totally wiped out during an expedition in Morocco.At the end of his time there, he expected to go on to Cambridge where a place was reserved for him. But his father summoned him back to India to join the Tatas. As his mother was French, he spent much of his childhood in France and as a result, French was his first language. Tata also attended the French Foreign Legion. He attended the Cathedral and John Connon School, Mumbai. He did not continue beyond matriculation as mentioned in his biography. It was to rankle with him for decades that he never went to a university. His father must have had a premonition, for he died nine months later and J.R.D. took his place as director of Tata Sons, which controls India's largest industrial group. J.R.D. was twenty-one. JRD Tata died in Geneva, Switzerland on November 29, 1993 at the age of 89 and was buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. On his death, the Indian Parliament was adjourned in his memory-an honour not usually given to persons who are not Members of Parliament. CONTRIBUTION TO INDIAN INDUSTRY
He inherited most of his grandfather Jamshedji's industrial empire but first became a pioneer in aviation. He had a great personality with a charm and style of his own. JRD Tata joined Tata & Sons as an unpaid apprentice in 1925. He had great interest in flying. J.R.D. Tata was inspired early by aviation pioneer Louis Blériot, and took to flying. Louis Bleriot, the first man to fly across the English Channel, had a house on the coast of France near the Tata's country home. Bleriot's pilot, who used to land a small plane on the beach, once gave J.R.D. a joyride. It was then that the fifteen-year-old boy decided that one day he too would fly. He had to wait ten years for it to happen. On February 10, 1929, JRD became the first Indian to pass the pilot's examination. Tata got the first pilot license issued in India. With this distinctive honor of being India's first pilot, he was instrumental in giving wings to India by building Tata Airlines. He founded India's first commercial airline, 'Tata Airlines', in 1932, which in 1946 became Air India, now India's national airline. J.R.D. recalled that in 1932, 'one October morning as the sun rose on the eastern horizon, a single-engined Puss Moth plane took off from Karachi with a load of mail for Bombay. As the plane hummed and rose the pilot said a word of prayer.' And so India's first airline - the Tata Airlines - was inaugurated. In 1953, the Indian Government appointed JRD as Chairman of Air-India and a director on the Board of...
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