Jamshed J Irani: Steel Man of India who ‘reinvented’ Tata Steel, dies at 86
Jamshed J Irani, the ‘Steel Man of India’ who ‘reinvented’ Tata Steel and made it the ‘world’s cheapest steel producer’ in the international market, died Monday night in Jamshedpur, the company said in a press release. tuesday. He was 86 years old.
Irani, conferred with the Padma Bhushan in 2007 for his contribution to the industry, retired from the board of Tata Steel in June 2011, leaving behind a 43-year legacy. He is survived by his wife Daisy Irani and three children: Zubin, Niloufer and Tanaaz.
Irani also received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 1997 for his contributions to Indo-British trade and cooperation.
In Jharkhand, and particularly in Jamshedpur, where Irani has spent much of his working life, and beyond, business leaders have recalled his ability to help local entrepreneurs grow as ancillary units .
Ashok Bhalotia, former president of Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry, one of the oldest industry associations which represents nearly 600 MSMEs, said Jamshedpur and neighboring districts are the hub of ancillary units, helping Tata Steel and Tata Motors, the two industrial giants based in Jamshedpur, thanks in large part to Irani. “Irani-ji wanted to develop local contractors and preferred to place work orders locally, rather than sourcing out of state. It’s had a big impact on companies like mine – our company now employs 500 people,” said Bhalotia, president of the Bhalotia Group of Companies, whose units focus primarily on automotive and aftermarket parts.
Bhalotia recalled that Irani, whom he met three times, “always welcomed suggestions”. “After economic liberalization (in 1991), with Irani in charge, an 8-hour shift culture started at Tata Steel. It has set a benchmark for other companies when it comes to worker welfare. »
Most local entrepreneurs fondly remember what they call Irani’s ability and enthusiasm for helping locals.
His contribution to the development of Adityapur Industrial Zone in Jamshedpur has been “tremendous, and he was always happy to help MSMEs to grow in this area”, Chairman of Adityapur Industrial Zone told PTI, Santosh Khetan.
Industry associations called Jamshedpur a “dead city” due to the lack of new investment after liberalisation, but Irani’s policies have helped Tata Steel through this phase, the national secretary of the Confederation of All Traders told PTI. Indians, Suresh Sonthalia.
“We will always remember him as a great business leader with a vision,” added Khetan.
Calling Irani a “Tata man par excellence”, N Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, said in a statement: “He was a towering corporate personality whose contribution to the steel industry was immense. Dr Irani will be missed to all at the Tata group…”
Born on June 2, 1936, in Nagpur to Jiji and Khorshed Irani, Irani graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Nagpur College of Science in 1956 and a Masters degree in Geology from Nagpur University in 1958. Subsequently, he went to the UK University of Sheffield as a ‘JN Tata Scholar’ and completed a Masters in Metallurgy in 1960 and a PhD in Metallurgy in 1963.
Irani began his professional career with the British Iron and Steel Research Association in Sheffield in 1963 and returned to India five years later to join the Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO, now Tata Steel) in 1968 as an assistant in the company’s R&D wing, according to a statement from Tata Steel. He became Chairman of Tata Steel in 1985 and retired in 2001 as Managing Director.
An avid sportsman who played and followed cricket to the end, Irani had a passion for collecting stamps and coins, and his love for Jamshedpur led to several key developments in the city, the statement said.