Founded in 1868, the Tata Group set out as a private trading firm before becoming one of the major conglomerates, not just in India but around the world. Its founder, Jamsetji Nuserramji Tata ventured into textile manufacturing by converting a bankrupt oil mill into a cotton mill and selling it for profit a couple of years later. One of his notable achievements was the establishment of textile mills in an unconventional underdeveloped city of Nagpur and the imminent success of the enterprise. During his lifetime, he inaugurated the Taj Mahal Hotel in 1903, one of the most prestigious in the east.
Growth under Dorabji and J.R.D. Tata
Under the chairmanship of Dorabji Tata, theTata Iron and Steel company (TISCO), now known as Tata Steel, was founded in 1907. Additionally, under his leadership, the group ventured into a diverse array of industries including education, consumer goods and aviation. The commencement of Tata Power Limited marked the advent of one of the largest integrated power companies in India. Under Dorabji, the overseas office of Tata Group in London marked the beginning of the company’s global outreach.
In the early years of his stewardship of the group, J.R.D. Tata continued expansion into the industries of chemical, technology, cosmetics, marketing, engineering, and tea, to name a few. In 1945, the Tata Group founded the Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company (TELCO), renamed Tata Motors in 2003. TELCO manufactured its first commercial vehicle in 1954 in collaboration with Daimler-Benz AG.
By the early 90’s, Tata entered the passenger vehicle market, making it the first Indian manufacturer to achieve the capability of developing a competitive indigenous automobile. 1998 saw Tata launching India’s first fully indigenous automobile - Indica, and later manufacture Nano, once the world’s cheapest car. Tata Motors leads the number of Indian commercial vehicles accounting for more than half the exports.
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