Jamshedji Tata was born in Navsari, Gujarat, to Nusserwanji and Jeevanbai Tata on March 3, 1839. His family were Zoroastrians, or Parsees, who came to India to escape persecution as Zoroastrians in Iran. He was born into a respected but impoverished priest family. Nusserwanji, his father, was the first businessman in a family of Parsi Zoroastrians. Gujarati was his first language. He defied his family’s priestly history by becoming the family’s first entrepreneur. In Mumbai, he established an export trade enterprise.
Jamshedji Tata, unlike other Zoroastrians, had a proper Western education since his parents recognised early on that he possessed unusual mental arithmetic abilities. He was eventually moved to Bombay in order to receive a more sophisticated education. In the age of 14, he moved to Bombay with his father, Nusserwanji, and enrolled at Elphinstone College, where he earned a “Green Scholar” diploma (the equivalent of a graduate). While still at university, he married Hirabai Daboo.
Establishment and Vision
Tata worked till he was 29 in his father’s business. In 1868, he established a trade corporation with a capital of $21,000 (equivalent to $52 million in today’s currency). In 1869, he purchased a bankrupt oil mill in Chinchpokli and transformed it into a cotton mill, renaming it Alexandra Mill. Two years later, he profitably sold the mill. Later, in 1874, Jamsetji Tata established the Central India Spinning, Weaving, and Manufacturing Company in Nagpur because he thought it would be a good area to start a new firm. People in Bombay mocked Tata for not taking the cotton business up in Bombay, which is renowned as India’s “Cottonopolis,” because of its unusual location.
Tata sought to make cloth of equal quality to Manchester cloth in order to lower the quantity of imports from other countries. He envisioned India as the leading maker of all types of fabric and, eventually, as an exporter. He desired India to be the exclusive producer of the exquisite fabrics for which India’s primitive weavers were known. Tata began experimenting with various methods for improving cotton growing in various locations of India. He claimed that adopting the Egyptian ryot’s soft cotton farming method would allow India’s cotton sector to achieve these goals.