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December 22, 2012

Tata Steel – a Century of Trust


Tata Steel Ltd, formerly known as Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) Ltd, was the brainchild of Shri Jamshetji Nusserwanji Tata, in the backdrop of the Industrial Revolution in India way back in 1882. His vision was to set up an iron and steel company, generating hydro-electric power and creating institutions that offer the best education.

His son, Dorabji Tata, realized his dream in setting up TISCO in 1907 in Sakchi, at the confluence of two mighty rivers, Subarnarekha and Kharkhai. It is perhaps the first Indian enterprise when the people of India, rich and poor, contributed in setting up the company. Only 11% share was contributed by the Tata family. There was adequate support from the Government in setting up all the ancillary facilities such as furnaces, powerhouses, mines and railway tracks. The first steel ingot (bar of metal) was casted on 16th February, 1912 marking a glorious moment in the Industrial India.

There have been no looking back for the Tatas ever since Dorabji Tata took charge – the first colliery was added in 1910, mines in different states such as Bihar, Orissa and Karnataka, and more. TISCO became one of the largest steel empires in British India by 1939 and by World War II, their capacities of production and economies of scale had increased so much that they were able to produce steel at a cheaper price than in England or any other country. Post independence, Tata’s have contributed significantly to the evolution of India as a whole. The name of the company has been curtailed to Tata Steel in 2005.

The enormous structure of Howrah Bridge in Calcutta (the largest cantilever bridge in the world even today), Bhakra Nangal Dam, Damodar Valley Corporation and many important structures stand in quiet testimony to the prowess of Tata Steel.

Present position

The Tata Group comprises of about 100 companies globally all of which are doing roaring businesses. The total human resource strength is above 4 lakhs!

Tata Steel is among the top 15 steel producing concerns in the world and maybe it is obvious that it is the largest private sector initiative into the steel business in India. It also featured in the top 500 of the world’s biggest corporations compiled by Fortune Global in 2012. Manufacturing of steel takes place in 25 countries other than India including China, USA, UK, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Dubai, South Africa to name a few. The largest plant is located in Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, a town that was named after the great visionary, J. N. Tata.  The headquarters are in Mumbai while the marketing division in headquartered in Kolkata.

Tata Steel has always been a part of our lives in some form of the other; but its visibility increased after the launch of Tata Nano, a car for the common man.


There is an impression about the Tatas is that they are oriented towards their own business development and do not care much for the detoriating effects on the environment. A major hue and cry happened during the construction of Dhamra Port, which was located near the natural habitat of turtles, rare species of wildlife and Bhitarkanika National Park. Although big names such as Tata Steel and L & T were involved, various activists and agencies such as Wildlife Protection Society of India succeeded in stalling the construction activity. However, the Tata’s invest large amount of resources in implementing pollution abating and environment friendly practices.

Another similar issue happened while setting up the production unit of Tata Nano at Singur in West Bengal. It would have rendered the fertile agricultural lands fallow, hence there was much protest from the farmers and villagers. The Tatas moved their unit to Sanand in Gujarat, which is away from major residential settlements.

Working with the Tata Group  

When a company is accoladed with the title of the most ethical company of the world, it is expected to be a good employer too. Tata Steel lives upto this expectation with more than 90% of the employees over all offices have given a thumbs up to their employer. It is not only the leader in employee satisfaction, but also customer satisfaction. Inspite of all controversies, the Tatas have been a trusted name in India, and have been part of the history of the nation.

The company has been known for its farsighted vision and orientation towards long term benefits. Significant time and money is invested in the welfare of employees and human resource development. All employees are been treated like family and encouraged to interact with the management whenever required. So there is a sense of belonging – a unity that has contributed in expanding the Tata empire as well as reshaping the skyline of India. Even consultants and trainees are considered as part of the umbrella, and once one is associated with any one of the companies, he looks forward to being involved over and over again in the future.

The Tata’s have been pioneers in introducing paradigm shifts in the work culture of India. They were the first to practice of working 8 hours in a day as early as 1912. Employee benefit schemes were conceptualized and implemented for the first time across the globe. Free medical aid was introduced in 1915 while the provident funds for employees was implemented in 1920. Some schemes even cover families of employees.

Today, there is an atmosphere of healthy competition in all the offices of the Tata Group of companies. Professionals are selected from premiere institutes such as IITs, and one gets excellent exposure here. There is a lot of opportunity to learn from senior, contemporary and junior colleagues.  The human resource policies of the company recognize the needs of employees, and this has been effective in retaining people over long tenures. The salaries offered are at par with the industry and may be a shade higher for the deserving candidates. No one wishes to go out of the Tata family unless he retires or is faced with an unavoidable circumstance.

Tags : Tata, TISCO, tata steel, history, present position, controversies, working with Tata group

About Anupama

A Transport Planner and Architect, Anupama has been blogging for about six years now. She has taken up professional content writing for the last two years, and can always be contacted for any assignments or queries. Her strength is original presentation of any topic.