No story of business and enterprise is complete without looking into one of India’s greatest business names, that of the Tatas. It all started with the vision of the Founder Jamsedji Tata. On 27 February 1908, the first stake was driven into the soil of Sakchi. In 1868 when he had started a trading firm, nobody could’ve guessed that it was the first step in building a modern nation. Jamsedji had joined his father Nusserwanji in Bombay at the age of 14. Since then Dorab Tata in 1932, JRD Tata in 1938 and Ratan Tata in 1993 have carried forward this legacy.
Jamshedpur, the steel city, also known as ‘Tata Nagar’ is called so for the significant presence of Tata Steel, the first private Iron and Steel company of India, there. The city with one of the highest per capita income in the country, it houses many big corporates such as Tata Steel and Tata Motors. As the Tata Jagriti Yatra reaches Tata Nagar, the yatris can’t help but wonder how the Tatas have reached this scale and how they have built an impeccable brand of trust.
The day began with a visit to the Tata Steel Plant in Jamshedpur, one of the largest plants. Established in 1907, it is the first integrated steel plant in Asia and is now the world’s second most geographically diversified steel producer. Tata Steel is also a Fortune 500 company. It is among the top ten steel producers of the world. Its current annual crude steel producing capacity is 30 Million Tonnes per annum. Today, Tata Steel has manufacturing units in 26 countries. Clearly, one can’t help but look with awe at the gigantic metal structures, standing tall in the Tata Plant, the blast furnaces that narrate the story of steel. Spread over more thousands of acres of lands, the plant is mapped by the Tata Jagriti Yatra buses as the Yatris look out of their windows to find these accurately built structures, each for a specific purpose. They also witness an important element behind this magnificence, the men with helmets and workmen jackets, riding their cycles to work or simply standing in groups, planning the next task at hand. Once again, the scene reminds one of how important each member’s role is in building this great enterprise just as how critical every citizen can be to the making of an entire nation.
At ‘The Centre of Excellence’, the Yatris visit the Tata gallery and read about not just the history and growth of the Tata businesses but also the intricacies of how steel is produced. Today, the Tata Group has 98 companies in 7 business sectors. What can the young yatris learn from the great Tata story? Abhishek Pathak, Senior Manager, Brand, Tata Services Limited, joined the Yatris on the train from Jamshedpur to Delhi. Discussing the inspirations one can draw from the Tata story, he explains, “The Tatas have been doing amazing work for the past 150 years, not just in terms of setting up industries such as the first steel plant or the first power plant but also in terms of nation building. In fact entrepreneurship and nation building have been the core virtues of the Tatas. Even in the early 1900s, the Tatas established policies for employee welfare, fairness, etc. For the Tata group, ethics always come first. Young entrepreneurs need to learn to always think in terms of how they are contributing to the nation whether it is just spending your free time in educating poor children or even pursuing art and culture activities. As entrepreneurs, youth should learn to work with the kind of passion that the Tatas have shown.”
Jamshedpur, a city built by the Tatas, is a clear example of how far vision and hard work can take you. The day’s programme perfectly balanced the science and art sides of entrepreneurship, as the day ended with a colourful cultural programme by student groups from Jamshedpur. From their local Chao dance to the scintillating Kathak performances, the graceful dancers managed to steal everyone’s breath away on the chilly January night in Jamshedpur, and yet, after a night’s stay there, the yatris woke up feeling fresh and looking forward to what lay ahead!
- By Unnati Narang