Dr. Jamshed J. Irani was a renowned industrialist in the history of India. His contribution to Tata Steel as well as India's industrial development has been crucial and formidable.
He served Tata Steel for a considerable period of 43 years as the Managing Director of the company. He passed away on 31st Oct, 2022 at the age of 86. He clearly gave half his life to Tata Steel. He put forward the legacy and vision of Jamsetji Tata. Even from not being a member of the Tata family, he totally respected the philanthropic and humanitarian approach of the Tata group.
In 1936, June 2nd, Khorshed Irani gave birth to a son named Jamshed J. Irani in Nagpur, Maharashtra. His father's name was Jiji Irani. Jamshed J. Irani pursued his science degree from Nagpur and also completed his post graduation with Geology in Nagpur University. After this, he went to the UK and took admission in the University of Sheffield. He acquired a degree of Masters in metallurgy and in 1963, he completed PhD in metallurgy. He worked in the UK for some time to gain significant experience and then returned to India.
He joined Tata Steel in 1968 and started working as an assistant to the Director who was in-charge of R&D. After 10 years, he was promoted as General Superintendent of the company. In 1979, he became the General Manager and then the turning point came into his life in 1985, he became the president of Tata Steel. In 1988, the Joint Managing Director and became Managing Director in 1992.
He has given his exemplary services not only just to TATA Sons and Tata Steel but also to Tata Teleservices and Tata Motors. He joined Tata group at a very young age and retired just a few years back in June 2011.
Recipient of numerous accolades
In the meanwhile, in 1992-93, he was also appointed as the president of CII (Confederation of Indian Industry). In 1997, following his promising work regarding trade and cooperation between India and Britain, Queen Elizabeth-II honored him with Knighthood. He also took the responsibility of being the Chairman of a very crucial committee in 2004 which was going to formulate India's fresh Companies Act.
He is the man of many honors including the prestigious Padma Bhushan in the year 2007 and Award of Lifetime Achievement in the following year for his contribution in industry and in the domain of metallurgy respectively. His deep knowledge and excellent skills in metallurgy gave him the nickname 'Steel Man of India'. His honors and achievements are proof of his astonishing personality. He was such a great person that the Government of India readily bestowed him opportunities to hold important posts of various boards and committees.
He revamped Tata Steel while maintaining the quality and offering low price too. Sustaining the faith of customers was his key aspect. He helped in establishing Tata Steel as the leading steel producing company in the world with highly competitive products. During his tenure in Tata Steel, the company registered a hike of 31% in profit.
Besides being a successful business tycoon, he never forbade his corporate responsibilities towards society. In 2003, he initiated the Tata Education Excellence Programme(TEEP), to provide quality education.
After his retirement from Tata company in 2011, he chaired the Board of Governors in India's prominent IIM, Lucknow.
Love for Cricket
His love for cricket was evident as he used to follow the cricket updates during his busy schedule. In the later part of his life, he established the Jiji Irani Challenge Cup along with his sister Diana to give tribute to his father.
Changing picture of Jamshedpur -
Before 28 years, Jamshedpur used to be a part of Bihar and was suffering from the terror of Land Mafias and gangsters. At that time, Jamshed J. Irani talked to Bihar government at that time and asked for a terror free and peaceful Jamshedpur. He even contributed to the social development of the people of Jamshedpur. He helped the local police with small aids like setting up traffic lights and providing homes to people who were not even working in the Tata group. He cordially supported the humanitarian efforts of Tata group and was happy to help people as much as he could. Jamshedpur was close to his heart and today, the roads and bridges, schools and hospitals, everything has the impact of the contribution of the Tata group. Mango bridge in the city is one of the prime examples of Tata group's contribution agreed by Jamshed J. Irani.
Basically, we can say that death only ends a life, not a relationship. His relation and bond with India for which he returned to India despite having good opportunities in foreign countries shows his true love for India. He will be always remembered as a revolutionary leader and a blessing to mankind.