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100 years of Tata Steel: Jamsetji to Corus

August 29, 2007
Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata's brainchild, Tata Steel, has many 'firsts' to its credit in its journey of 100 years.

From being the first steel plant in India and Asia, to bagging the Anglo-Dutch steelmaker, Corus Group, the largest acquisition by an Indian company abroad, Tata Steel has lived up to its reputation of creating history.

The genesis of Tata Steel lay in a report by a German geologist, Ritter Von Scwartz, claiming significant iron ore deposits in Chanda, a district close to Chhota Nagpur. The report spurred Jamsetji who struggled till his very end to set up the plant. But three years before the plant site was discovered Jamsetji died.

He had ensured that his dream was in safe hands. The team which finally gave shape to Jamsetji’s dream had C M Weld, an expert surveyor, Dorabji Tata, Jamsetji's son and Shapurji Saklatvala, who was later elected to the British House of Commons and last but not the least, Charles Page Perin, the eminent consulting engineer from New York.

Perin made what in today's parlance would be the DPR or the detailed project report for the plant. Even after the report, Perin stayed till the site for the plant was fixed at Sakchi, or what is known as Jamsehdpur (Sakchi was renamed Jamshedpur by Lord Chelmsford, the viceroy of India, and Kalimati station Tatanagar in 1919).

Leveraging the swadeshi spirit which ran high during the time, Tata Iron and Steel Company Limited, as it was registered, decided to tap the Indian capital market and issued shares on August 26, 1907.

Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, industrialist, nationalist, humanist and the founder of the House of Tata.

Text: Ishita Ayan Dutt
Photograph: Tata Group


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