Started India's first chain of luxury hotels
Jamsetji Tata, founder of the Tata group, incorporated the Indian Hotels Company on April 1, 1902, for the ownership and operation of the Taj Mahal Hotel, India's first luxury hotel, in Mumbai.
The first hotel was opened in 1903. It was the first building in Bombay to be lit by electricity. A suite of rooms, including full board, cost a princely sum of Rs30.
In 1947, independent India's first speech to industry was made at the hotel.
Pioneered India's steel industry
Established in 1907 at Jamshedpur by Jamsetji Tata, Tata Steel, then known as the Tata Iron and Steel Company, pioneered India's steel industry. The plant started production in 1912.
Started first power plant in India
The first of the three Tata Electric Companies, Tata Hydro-Electric Power Supply Company was set up in 1910. The second, Andhra Valley Power Supply Company was established in 1917 and Tata Power in 1919. The first two companies were merged with Tata Power in 2000 to form a single entity.
Tata Power commissioned India’s first power plant, a 72mw hydro-electric station, in 1915. A 75mw hydro station was started in Bhivpuri in 1919 and a 300mw hydro station at Bhira in 1922. In 1984, the company installed and commissioned India's first 500MW unit at its Trombay generating station.
The New India Assurance Company was formed in 1919 by a group of leading industrialists and businessmen in western India. The Tatas spearheaded the effort, and it was regarded as the largest composite and indigenous insurance company for life and general insurance. Under the government policy of nationalisation, the life insurance sector was nationalised in 1956, and general insurance in 1971.
Tata Steel pioneered several labour welfare benefits long before they were enacted or ratified by law. These include an eight-hour working day (in 1912, well before it became statutory in much of the West), free medical aid, establishment of a welfare department, leave with pay, workers' provident fund scheme (in 1920. Governmental regulation on this came into force in 1952), workmen's accident compensation scheme, maternity benefits, profit sharing bonus and retiring gratuity.
Most of these introductions were enforced by law decades later, and incorporated as part of various Acts, such as the Factories Act and State Insurance Act.
JRD Tata's dream to reach for the skies came true with the formation of Tata Aviation Service on October 15, 1932. On that day, the flight that marked the beginning of Indian civil aviation, took off at Drigh Road airfield in Karachi. With JRD at the controls of the Puss Moth, the plane first touched down at Ahmedabad before landing at Mumbai. In its first year, Tata Aviation Services achieved 100 per cent punctuality and chalked up a profit of Rs16,000. Profits rose to Rs66,000 in 1937, and Rs0.6 million the following year. Post-independence, Air India International was formed as a joint venture company between the Tatas and the government. In 1953, the government nationalised the carrier and Tata Aviation became Air India.
In 1945, the Tata group led the way for commercial vehicle production in India. The Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company (renamed Tata Motors in 2003) was established to manufacture locomotive and engineering products.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India's first software services company, was established in 1968 as a division of Tata Sons to spearhead the group's software development efforts.
In 2002, TCS became the first Indian software company to cross one billion dollars in revenues. In 2004, TCS went public in the largest private sector initial public offering in the Indian stock market.
In December 1998, Tata Engineering (now Tata Motors), gave India its first indigenously designed, developed and manufactured car, the Indica. Within just seven days of its launch, the car created history by logging 115,000 fully-paid orders.