Today is a significant day for anyone associated with the Tata group of companies. March 3rd is celebrated as the Founder’s Day – the birthday of Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, also known as JN Tata.

Growing up, I have always been part of the Founder’s Day celebration. My father worked for the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). For me, this will always be ‘Tata Institute’ – a name that many people popularly use for one of India’s prestigious education and research center in Bangalore. That is because this institute was established with generous support from JN Tata.  The land of course was donated by the Maharaja of the State Of Mysore.

Because of his contribution to building up IISc and his vision of how this would impact India, a huge monument was erected in front of the Central Office & Faculty Hall, in his memory.  Every year on this day, the memorial is decorated with an arrangement of flower pots brought from across the campus, and a service is held to celebrate the birth anniversary of this legend. Till I was about 8-9 years, I would eagerly look forward to the sweets or chocolates that my father would bring home to mark the celebration. A few years later, we moved in to live on the campus and I have had the privilege to visit the monument multiple times. All of my teen and young adult years were spent on the Tata Institute campus. So it will always be ‘home’ for me. My love for nature, for reading, for long solitary walks, my first tryst with computers, life-long friendships, my wedding – this place has been a very integral part of my life. Even though I no longer live on the campus, I try to visit during this week to pay tribute and to take in the beauty of both the decked-up monument and the natural beauty of the campus – which comes alive in all its summer glory.

Video Courtesy : IISc. Founder’s Day 2022

Then from 2009 to 2013, till I quit corporate work life, I was part of the Tata Teleservices family and got to experience what it meant to be part of this work culture.

What Makes The Tatas Different?

Vision & Pioneer

JN Tata is referred to as the “Father Of Indian Industry’. This in itself tells us how important his vision and contribution have been to building modern India. It was his vision that gave birth to the iconic Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, during his lifetime. His vision also led to the establishment of iron and steel plants (TISCO, now Tata Steel), a premier research & educational institute (IISc), and a power plant (Tata Power). Today, keeping up with the changing times Tatas have an impact across many fields like consumer durables, automobile, medicine, telecommunications, information technology, and now airlines as well.

Trust

Maybe it is their history of fair dealings, pioneering spirit, love for the country and the community – Tata remains one of the most trusted brands across India. Investors, Partners, Staff & Patrons all find the Tata group to be trustworthy. Tatas have always put the Indian consumer first – his sentiments and affordability along with innovation drive their product portfolio. In fact, as per a recent poll survey, the group garnered more than 66% of the votes from investors, as a trusted brand across.

Philanthropy, Compassion & Humanity

The Tatas are known more for their philanthropic work than for their wealth. Amongst their many initiatives, perhaps the most known one is the Tata Memorial Hospital which offers free and subsidized treatment for cancer patients.

The Tata Trust manages this work and I read somewhere that more than 60% of their earnings is dedicated towards philanthropy. This philosophy has been a guiding force in my home as well. Though we belonged to the ‘working middle-class’ and did not have a huge disposable income, my father always kept aside a percentage of his earnings towards some charitable cause and taught me to do so as well. My stint at TTSL gave me the opportunity to be a part of a few projects for Women Empowerment, Children’s Education in Government schools and to preserve the environment. I learnt the true joy of giving back to society. I also feel that my initiatives during the pandemic were driven by this guiding force.

Their compassion towards their staff & patrons is also legendary – this was witnessed in recent times too in how they handled the aftermath of the infamous terrorist attack on the Taj Mahal hotel.

Their kindness extended to animals as well. As a fellow animal-lover, I was completely overjoyed to learn of how the Tata House throws open its doors so that the ‘stray’ dogs can take shelter. Something many of us can learn from to be kind to all living beings and treat them with respect.

Wealth is one part of becoming famous. It takes courage, compassion, loyalty, and vision to channel that wealth to build a nation.

True legends are made of these. Their legacy lives on.

 

This is my little tribute to the legacy of Tatas. The views expressed are my own, born of my experiences. I have researched some of the data/numbers shared in the post.

The title is inspired by the tribute on Tata Website.  Click here to visit the site.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla in collaboration with RRE Studios.

26 Comments

  1. You have given the great but humble man a fitting tribute. When you hear Tatas the word trust pops up fast. It is really interesting to note that the same culture and values are carried on by the younger generation. Usually, the next generations want to modernize and change everything.

  2. Very well written, Vasu. You bought back all the lovely memories of IISC. There is a sensation of calmness every time I visit. I am glad that the culture is still carried on. The environment, greenery is still intact. One of the best place to live and work❤️ . And we met in IISc like 30 years back, hanging out in gymkhana, watching movies among other beautiful things. Amazing memories to cherish!!

  3. Every Indian is associated with the brand TATA in some way or the other. Mine too happened in childhood as back home we call all trucks Tata😀.
    It was nice to read about your association with the company and how your childhood and adult life were influenced by this association. A very well articulated n fitting tribute.

  4. JRD tata was a legend and word trust goes synonyms with tata always. His values and vision kept intact by the next generation too and that’s why it is what it is today…. Best ever Indian brand.

    1. JRD was an inspiration for all. Even today Mr. Ratan Tata continues his legacy with humility. Every service they have entered into is taken care of with utmost dedication be is aviation, vehicle, hotel etc. I envy you growing up in the campus. Your memories are a treasure for you.

  5. What an insightful post. Loved your memories. I am an avid TATA Group fan and Ratan Tata Sir is my absolute inspiration for humility and humbleness. Couldn’t stop cheering when Air India was taken over by the TATA’S. Jubilant moment.

  6. Growing up in a place that’s not just beautiful but holds a place of importance in our country’s history and knowledge must be truly amazing! Tatas are known for their work culture and philanthropy. Wish I can visit here someday too!

  7. Politicians are often hailed for their contribution to building the nation. But the Tatas are equally important. You are absolutely right. It takes courage, compassion, loyalty, and vision to channel that wealth to build a nation.

  8. The TATAs have been pioneers and one of India’s biggest assets. I continue to read their stories that are so inspiring even today, both on thr personal and professional fronts.Thank you for this insight.

  9. A lovely tribute, Vasumathi. The Tata group is indeed the backbone of the Indian industry. I am sure each and every Indian has in some way or the other has a history with the Tata brand.

  10. We all are somehow associated with TATA in one way or other. I love one fact about TATA’s and that is their philanthropic Trusts control over 66% of the Tata holding company Tata Sons, while the Tata family is a very small shareholder.

  11. My husband had been an IISC student and incidentally had worked with Tata Steel in Jamshedpur for sometime. I had come to know from him some of J.N. Tata’s humongous contribution to education and development.

  12. I agree with you, TATA has become a symbol or name of trust over the years and be it Building Taj Hotels chain or educational istitute, Tata has always excelled and been trust worthy.

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Vasumathi

Blogger, Content Creator, Knowledge Facilitator, Hobby Photographer & Mom To A Naughty Dalmatian.