Ratanji Dadabhai Tata was an Indian businessman and leading industrialist who contributed significantly to the growth of the Tata Group. He was a partner in Tata Sons and one of the directors of Tata Steel who kept its operations stable through tough times. People still remember him as their proud father. J R D Tata,
Ratanji Dadabhai Tata (RD Tata) was born in 1856.age 70 years; at the time of death) in Navsari, Gujarat. She . was the first cousin of Jamsetji TataFounder of Tata Group. He did his schooling from Cathedral & John Connon School, Bombay and graduated from Elphinstone College, Bombay. After completing his graduation, he moved to Madras to pursue a course in agriculture.
Ratanji Dadabhai Tata was born in a family of Parsi priests.
parents and siblings
He was born to Dadabhai Kawasji and Bhikhibai Tata and had no siblings.
wife and children
Ratanji married a Parsi girl at an early age. She died soon after the wedding, and the couple had no children. Later, RD Tata goes to Paris on a business trip, when he falls in love with Susan (Soonie) Brier. They dated each other for some time before getting married in 1902. She was a French woman, and the couple spent most of their time living in France after marriage. They had five children, Rodabeh, Jahangir, Jimmy, Sayla and Dorab.
He joined his father’s firm, Tata & Company, and was sent to Hong Kong, China to conduct the (legal at the time) opium business in China for Tata & Company. He worked for this firm even after his father’s death in 1876. In 1883, he took full charge of the operation of this firm and demonstrated his ability by bringing it back to stability. In 1884, Jamsetji was impressed by the work of RD Tata and asked him to join Express Mills.
The Express Mills was headed by Sir Bezonji Dadabhai Mehta, who looked after the managerial and technical aspects, and RD Tata, who looked after the financial aspects of the mill. At that time, he was tasked with starting a ginning factory in Yavatmal along with Dorabji Tata. He also got the charge of handling the finances of Swadeshi Mills, which were not performing well. they accompanied Dorabji Tata Worked to improve his situation. RD Tata later took over Tata & Co and moved to Hong Kong to work for its success. He proved his mettle by opening new branches in Kobe and Shanghai, dealing in silk and rice. He further expanded the business and opened branches in New York and Paris dealing in silk and pearls. After the death of Jamsetji Tata, RD continued to participate in the workings of Tata & Sons. He supported Jamsetji’s sons and was instrumental in the establishment of the Tata Steel Company in Jamshedpur. In 1907, Tata & Company, based in Hong Kong, was also merged with Tata & Sons, and the name of the enterprise was changed to Tata Sons & Company. This company supplied steel for the First World War. Right after this war, Tata Steel went through a crisis when steel from Belgium and Britain was dumped in India. RD Tata, along with other Tata group directors, handled the situation to avoid possible damage to the business. In 1917, the company’s name was changed to Tata Sons Limited. In the later years of his life, RD Tata took care of the business and financial side of the business from his head office in Bombay. He was instrumental in realizing Jamsetji’s dreams of hydro-electric scheme, iron and steel project and establishment of research university. He handled various aspects of the firm during the war. He also helped the House of Tatas get out of their most critical financial phase after World War I. Due to his contribution in such difficult times, he is still remembered as a great industrialist in Indian history.
Contribution to Indian Industry
RD Tata was a member of the Imperial Legislative Council which secured protection for the iron and steel industry. He had association with Japan since 1890 and this association helped him to develop Indo-Japanese trade relations.
Awards, Honors, Achievements
- RD Tata was awarded the highest honor of the rising sun of the third order by the Emperor of Japan.
RD Tata died on 26 August 1926 in Hardlot, France.
Facts / Trivia
- RD started his career working for a loss making enterprise.
- He married twice, and his first wife was Parsi while the second was French.