J. R. D. Tata (29 July 1904- 29 November 1993) was an Indian Industrialist and chairperson of Tata Group, India’s largest industrial empire. He was the founder of India’s first Airline. In 1992, he received Bharat Ratna, India’s Highest Civilian Award.

As an adolescent, JRD loved France and flying more than anything else. By the time he stepped into the autumn of his existence, he had devoted some 50 years to heading and defining a unique business conglomerate, and just as long to championing the interests of India and her myriad people.


J. R. D. Tata was born on 29 July 1904 in Paris, France. His father Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata was the first cousin of Jamsetji Tata, a pioneer industrialist in India. He spent his childhood in France. He attended his school education at the Janson De Sailly School in Paris. He received his education in France, Japan, and England. When his father joined the Tata company, the whole family moved to London.

After his mother died, at the age of 43, his father decided to move his family to India. J. R. D. Tata wanted to study at Cambridge University. But in 1925, he moved back to India, to assume his role in the Tata family business.


After his father’s death, he took his place as director of Tata Sons, and in 1929, he renounced his French citizenship and became an Indian citizen, and in the same year, he became the first Indian to get a commercial pilot’s license.

In 1932, He founded India’s first commercial airline, Tata Airlines. Later, it became Air India in 1946. In 1932, he flew the first commercial mail flight to Juhu.

In 1938, at the age of 34, He became the chairperson of Tata Group, with major interests in steel, engineering, power, chemicals, and hospitality.


Under his chairmanship, Tata Group’s assets grew from US$100 million to US$5 billion. He started 14 different enterprises.

In 1941, his Trust established Asia’s first cancer, the Tata Memorial Centre for Cancer, Research and Treatment, in Bombay. He also founded the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

In 1945, he founded Tata Motors. In 1948, he launched Air India International as India’s first international airline. The Indian Government appointed him as the chairman of Air India and a director on the Board of Indian Airline in 1953,

In 1968, he founded Tata Consultancy Services as Tata Computer Centre. In 1987, he founded Tata Industries in Jamshedpur.


In 1955, he received Padma Vibhushan, and in 1992, he received Bharat Ratna, India’s Highest Civilian Award.


J. R. D. Tata died on 29 November 1993 in Geneva, Switzerland, at the age of 89 of a kidney infection.

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