“Well, let me dive into the depths of time,
And bring from out the ages that have rolled
A few small fragments of those wrecks sublime,
Which human eyes may never behold.”
The year 1839 saw the birth of an eminent personality when the eagle pinion of India was chained by the shackles of British Rule. Hardly had one thought that the foundation laid by Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata would one day turn into a top-level globalized company. World Steel Dynamics declared Tata Steel Limited as the “World’s Best Steel Plant’. Tata Steel has completed a glorious hundred years. Celebrating an achievement, accomplished by few. A vision envisaged by the Founder… executed by his successors… developed and evolved by his future generations… to become today a global enterprise! This is a story of Tata Steel which completed 110 glorious years of existence on August 26, 2017, following the ideals and philosophy laid down by its founder, Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata way back in 1907. The first private steel plant which started with a production capacity of one lakh tonnes has transformed into a global giant.
Jamshedji Tata travelled to New York. He was advised to meet Mr Charles Page Perin, an eminent consulting Engineer from New York. “I believe I have found the man I have been looking for”, said Jamshedji Tata on meeting Charles. There was nothing that was going to discourage Jamshedji Tata. He went on exploring a new frontier. He invited Charles to come to India. The Steel Town near Sakchi was named Jamshedpur. Obstacles are not stepping stones, but stepping stones. Problems come in each and every person’s life. Our greatness lies in the fact that how we deal with them and how we overcome them. Had Dorabji Tata sat back by the insult which he received from the British, today Tata Steel wouldn’t have been the leading globalized company in the world.
Dorabji tata was an Indian industrialist and a philanthropist and a key figure in the history and development of the Tata industrial empire. He was the elder son of Jamshedji Tata and was intimately involved in the fulfilment of his father’s ideas of a modern Iron & Steel industry. He struggled to raise the finance over the years. The streets of London was lonely and unwelcoming. He encountered scepticism. In India, Swadeshi movement was going on when Dorabji returned to Mumbai. Between three weeks the capital was raised. Dorabji Tata said that Tata Iron & Steel company had a ring of surety as it was meant to happen. The countrymen surprised them all as things were managed by Swadeshi brains and financed by Swadeshi money.
India’s first steel plant became nationally known. Workers came from across the country to build the steel city. It was made in the middle of the jungle. History was forged in this town. The demand for steel exploded in 1912. In 1916, the company was booming. But the mood turned grim. Pitsburg Steel Tycoon had said in this business one is either a prince or a porter. In 1934, TISCO faced bankruptcy. But Tata Steel overcame it.
Subhas Chandra Bose visited Jamshedpur and a historic agreement was signed between him and Sir NB Saklatvala, Chairman, Tata Steel. This speaks of a mutual corporation and understanding that was being nurtured and developed at Tata Steel and continues to this day. 23,000 tonnes of steel went into building the Howrah bridge.
In 1932, Sir Dorabji Tata passed away and 6 years later JRD Tata succeeded him. Jawaharlal Nehru said that India needed 500 more Jamshedpurs. It’s a dignitary of every country. Jamshedpur became India’s heritage site. Since 100 years something special is happening and people talk about the spirit of Jamshedpur. Ask anyone and you will see the glee in his eyes. Jamshedji Tata wanted to build more and the company nurtured and built upon his expectations.
Any company can run smoothly only when there is a perfect coordination between the employers and the employees. Tata Steel presents a perfect example of it. In an age where strikes and lockouts and become a common site Tata Steel presents a glorious 75 years of uninterrupted working. Tata Steel is not just a company, it is a culture out of which core ideas form. Manufacturing steel is not its only motive. Catering to the needs of its employees is the first and foremost concern of the company. In a country which is torn apart by linguistic barriers the steel, the city presents a proper example of Unity in Diversity, where people of all cast, creed and religion live at peace with each other. The one bond which unites them is none other than Tata Steel.
Ratan N Tata, Chairman, Tata Steel Ltd said that no one could think of closing down Jamshedpur. They have to provide returns higher than the cost of capitals. If they couldn’t do so they won’t get investors. They met the challenge. The cost did come down and after the end of a financial year, they became the lowest cost producer in the world. Corus, the Anglo-Dutch steelmaker, was bought for $8 billion by Tata of India on 31st January 2007 after a dramatic shoot-out with the rival bidder CSN of Brazil. The Indian company triumphed at the end of a marathon quick-fire auction. “India on song, takes Corus along.”
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