“While many others worked on loosening the chains of slavery and hastening the march towards the dawn of freedom, Jamsetji dreamed of and worked for life as it was to be fashioned after liberation. Most of the others worked for freedom from a bad life of servitude; Jamsetji worked for freedom for fashioning a better life of economic independence.”
— Dr Zakir Hussain, the former president of India
The Tata Group was founded by one of India’s foremost entrepreneurs, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, in 1868. Being a true patriot and philanthropist, J.N. Tata had the vision to realise that the dream to build a truly developed nation hinged on the country’s capability to assert itself through economic and industrial independence. To this end, he dedicated his life to pursuing four goals: to set up the first independent iron and steel company in Asia; to establish a power generation plant (that eventually became India’s largest private electricity company); to build a world-class learning institution; to found an unique hotel. The hotel was the first of its kind and defined the hospitality sector in India on its foundation. It continues to set a global benchmark today.
The success of the vision of the founder of the Tata Group, now India’s largest corporate conglomerate, can perhaps be illustrated by the story of Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. At a time when the norm for travellers in the country was to seek shelter at the Public Works Department or other guest-houses, the Taj Mahal Palace hotel was established in Colaba, Bombay in 1903. Within four years of its inauguration, the hotel was already counted in a list of top global hotels by the New York Times.