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Jamsetji Tata  |  J.R.D. Tata  |  Ratan Tata  |  The Lord Bagri  |  Lord Swraj Paul  |  Lakshmi Mittal  |  Kumar M. Birla  |  Anil Agarwal

   Meet the Titans of the Metal and Steel Industry

This purpose of this Gallery is to highlight the valuable contributions made to the Industry by Indians, both at home and away. We hope to inspire many more to follow in their footsteps and command a place in this gallery in the near future. We appreciate your feedback - if you feel we have overlooked anyone, or if you have stories of people who have made a difference in the Industry and brought glory to this nation, please Email us.

 Jamsetji Tata

[ Image : Portrait of Jamsetji Tata ]

Born in a Parsi family in 1839, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata came to Bombay [now "Mumbai"] at the age of 14...

Jamsetji was a true nationalist who foresaw the significance of the industrial revolution for India and spelt out the three basic ingredients necessary to attain it: Steel was the mother of heavy industry; hydroelectric power was the cheapest energy to be generated; and technical education, coupled with research, was essential for industrial advancement.

A report on the rich iron ore deposits in India motivated Jamsetji to set up a steel plant for the nation. He researched for years the process of steel-making and travelled to Europe and the US for technical advice.

In 1900, when Jamsetji was sixty, he finally got the approval for bulding a steel plant. He invited world renowned consultant Charles Page Perin to undertake a thorough scientific survey of raw materials and climatic conditions in India. Many years were spent in surveying the Indian terrain before the group hit paydirt in the remote coalfields of Bengal which had ore with rich iron content and a continuous flow of water. Three years earlier in 1904, Jamsetji had passed away in Germany, but his dream outlived him. The Tata Iron and Steel Company was formed in 1907, and built the Steel City, Jamshedpur, in Bihar.

 Links :
Tata Steel


 J.R.D. Tata

[ Image : Portrait of J.R.D. Tata ]

Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata was born in Paris on July 29, 1904. JRD, as he was fondly referred to all his life, arrived at group headquarters Bombay House to work under John Peterson, director-in-charge of Tata Steel, in 1925. He took control of the Tata's Industrial Empire in 1938, when he was barely thirty-four.

JRD guided the destiny of India’s largest business house for well over half a century. Just before India’s Independence, in 1945, Tata Steel promoted the Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company (Telco) with the objective of making locomotives for the Indian Railways. Today, Telco has emerged as the country’s largest commercial vehicle producer.

Over the years, JRD Tata helped establish many new enterprises. And he consciously decided to let the chief executives of various Tata companies take over from him as chairman. According to him, the crux of the matter lay in finding a person with a deep sense of values, and then giving him the latitude to carry on with his job.

His was a life which often shaped history: He pioneered civil aviation on the subcontinent, funded Homi Bhabha’s ambition to catapult India into the nuclear age, initiated the family planning movement much before it became the official government policy, and bankrolled efforts to record and preserve for posterity the country’s priceless folk arts.

For these endeavours, JRD Tata was awarded the country’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1992 -- one of the rare instances when the award was granted during a person’s lifetime. And, on his death, the Indian Parliament was adjourned in his memory -- an honour not usually given to private citizens. His home state of Maharashtra too declared three days of mourning when he passed away on November 29, 1993.

JRD, was a True citizen of India and an Icon for people of our country to follow. We reproduce below His message to the Industrial fraternity.....

"The wealth gathered by Jamsetji Tata and his sons in half a century of industrial pioneering formed but a minute fraction of the amount by which they enriched the nation. The whole of that wealth is held in trust for the people and used exclusively for their benefit. The cycle is thus complete; what came from the people has gone back to the people many times over."
- J.R.D. Tata

 Links :
Tata Steel


 Ratan Tata

[ Image : Portrait of Ratan Tata ]

Ratan Tata's rise to the top of the Tata empire began at Jamshedpur, where he joined Tisco as an apprentice after his return from Cornell University. His eventual succession was far from being a smooth affair, and there were a host of other names who were all equally capable of continuing the Tata legacy. Nani Palkhiwala, a man for all seasons who later became chairman of ACC,Darbari Seth, J.R.D Tata's close associate and the titan behind Tata Chemicals and Tata Tea; Russi Mody of Tata Steel a strongman, Sumant Moolgaokar, chairman of Telco and ACC; and Ajit Kerkar of Indian Hotels-all worthy contenders. While some threw their hats in the ring, others were discreet. However it is to Ratan Tata's credit that he came through this extremely testing ordeal without losing his grip over the group and managed to steer the company to new heights.

Ratan Tata is credited with instilling ethics and credibility into business practices. He modernised the group so that it survives in the liberalised economy and adopted the Tata Excellence Model for all group companies. As a corporate leader, he is widely respected.

A bachelor and teetotaller, Tata is well-read. His inspirations, apart from the legendary JRD, include John F. Kennedy, Prof. Amar Bose, founder of Bose Corp., and Jean Riboud, former chairman of Schlumberger, a technology major. He enjoys his evening stroll with his dogs at the United Services Club in Mumbai.

 Links :
Tata Steel


 The Lord Bagri

[ Image : Portrait of The Lord Bagri ]

Lord Raj Kumar Bagri, chairman of London Metal Exchange (LME) rose from humble beginnings to become the first Indian chairman of a 100 year plus organisation, the very place that turned him away when he was young.

Born in Calcutta in 1930, Lord Bagri commenced his career working with Binani Metals in India and had visited UKon business to try to set up ring membership for Binani Metals which was unsuccessful at that time. He eventually ended up setting up his own company, Metal Distributors UK (Medist), and after decades of hard work and determination, he has today risen to head the LME. His success story is certain to inspire many of our budding Indian companies who must realise that in order to rise to the top they must follow certain principles which of course goes hand in hand with hardwork, determination and peseverance. Lord Bagri has chosen the hard way to success and glory- among Britain’s Asian business community.

Today, the low profile Lord Bagri sits at the helm of a 80 million pound plus fortune at Metdist, which he runs along with his devout wife, Usha, and son Apurv; his only daughter, Amita, is married to industrialist Chandrakant Birla and lives in Delhi.

Among Lord Bagri’s extraordinary achievements is his deft handling of a major crisis in 1995 : the tin industry was shaken up when a Japanese firm lost $2.6 billion because of a rogue trader. Lord Bagri’s reputation was on the block but he emerged unscathed. Since then he has gained in stature, having prevented LME’s arch rival, the New York Merchantile Exchange, from out performing the traditional metal exchange. From 1986 onwards, LME’s world turnover expanded by 700 per cent to a staggering $2,500 billion. All credit to Lord Bagri.

 Links :
London Metal Exchange


 Lord Swraj Paul

[ Image : Portrait of Lord Swraj Paul ]

Lord Paul’s roots go back to the little Punjab town of Jalandhar in India, where in 1910 his father started by making steel buckets, tubs, trunks and agricultural implements, and had a small foundry at the back of the family home. From this modest undertaking Apeejay Surrendra Group has grown into one of India’s largest family owned industrial groups in a wide range of industries : steel, engineering, pharmaceuticals, hotels, shipping and tea.

Lord Paul and his brothers grew up surrounded by their father’s small business and succeeded him in its diversification and expansion.

From his father, Lord Paul and his brothers learnt three important business lessons: integrity, hard work and the value of close family ties. Though the business prospered, the family continued to live frugally, following the Hindu prescription “simple living and high thinking”. Anecdotes recall that when Lord Paul’s mother was asked why she wore no jewels, she would proudly declare: “my sons are my jewels.” This ethic of close family ties continued and Lord Paul attributes much of his business success to the moral and emotional support he received from his three brothers – Stya, Jit and Surrendra, and the happy home life created by his wife, Aruna.

Lord Paul came to Britain in 1966 for medical treatment for his daughter, Ambika. He remained in England after her tragic death in 1968 and sees all he has created in Caparo Group as a dedication to her memory. In 1994 Lord Paul took the opportunity to commemorate the rebuilding of London's Children's Zoo in her name.

 Links :
The Caparo Group


 Lakshmi Mittal

[ Image : Portrait of Lakshmi Mittal ]

Mr. Lakshmi N. Mittal is the Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Ispat International. Mr. Lakshmi N. Mittal has over 31 years of experience in steel and related industries. Mr. Lakshmi N. Mittal is the founder of Ispat International and has been responsible for the strategic direction and development of its company's business.

Mr. Mittal is also the Chairman of LNM Holdings N.V. and its main steelmaking subsidiaries. He is also a non-executive director of Iscor Limited, a member of the Board of Directors of the International Iron and Steel Institute and a director of Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation India Limited.

Mr. Lakshmi N. Mittal was named Steel Maker of the Year in 1996 by New Steel, a leading industry publication. Mr. Lakshmi N. Mittal was also awarded the 8th honorary Willy Korf Steel Vision Award, the highest recognition for worldwide achievement in the steel industry. The award was presented by American Metal Market and World Steel Dynamics.

 Links :
Ispat International


 Kumar Mangalam Birla

[ Image : Portrait of Kumar Mangalam Birla ]

Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla is the Chairman of the Aditya Birla group, which is among India's largest business houses.Mr. Birla is the Chairman of all of the Group's blue-chip Companies in India viz.,Grasim, Hindalco, Indian Rayon, Indo Gulf and Indal. Its JVs include Idea Cellular (Birla-Tata-AT&T, Telecom]), Birla Sun Life (Financial Services) and Birla NGK (Insulators). He also serves as a Director on the Board of the Group's International Companies spanning Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Egypt, Canada, USA and U.K.

He is also on the Board of several other Companies in India including Tata Iron & Steel Company (TISCO) and Larsen & Toubro (L&T).

Additionally, he is on the Board of the G.D.Birla Medical Research & Education Foundation, and a Member of the Board of Governors of the Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS), Pilani, and the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad as well. He is a Member of the London Business School's Asia Pacific Advisory Board, which provides counsel on the School's strategy and curriculum. He is "Honorary Fellow" of the London Business School (LBS), a title recently conferred upon him by the Governing Board of the LBS.

Mr. Birla has and continues to hold several key and responsible positions on various regulatory and professional Boards, such as : The Prime Minister of India's Advisory Council on Trade and Industry, the National Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Apex Advisory Council of The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, the Government of Uttar Pradesh's High Powered Investment Task Force, and the Advisory Council for the Centre for Corporate Governance.

In the seven years that he has been at the helm of the Aditya Birla Group, he has won recognition for his contribution to Industry and to professionalising management. To cite a few : In 2001 : the Rajiv Gandhi Award for "Business Excellence and his contribution to the country" by the Mumbai Pradesh Youth Congress; The National HRD Network's (Pune) "The Outstanding Business Man of the Year"; The giants International Award for "Business Excellence and his contribution to the Industry"; the Rotary Club's "Award for Vocational Excellence"; the Institute of Directors' "Golden Peacock National Award for Business Leadership"; and Hindustan Times' "The Businessman of the Year". In 2002 : The Qimpro foundation's "Qimpro Platinum Standard Award"; the Amity Business School Award for "Excellence in Business", were recently conferred upon Mr. Birla.

Earlier, the Bombay Management Association honoured Mr. Birla as "The Management Man of the Year". The Lions Clubs International as "The Achiever of the Millennium"; the Rotary Club of Ahmedabad as "The Legend of the Corporate World"; while Global Finance has cited him among the 10 Super Stars of Corporate Finance and Business World ranked him among the top 10 of India's most admired and respected CEOs and the top CEO of the coming millennium.

Born June 14, 1967, Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla was raised in Calcutta and Mumbai. He is a Chartered Accountant and earned an MBA (Masters in Business Administration) from the London Business School, London.

 Links :
Aditya Birla Group


 Anil Agarwal

[ Image : Portrait of Anil Agarwal ]

- Under Construction -

 Links :
Sterlite Group of Industries