History of Tata Group

From the small beginnings in India, Tata now has a major international reach with 65 per cent of the group’s revenues drawn from outside India.

Tata Sons was founded as a trading entity in 1868 by the visionary Jamsetji Tata (1839 – 1904), one of the Indian’s pioneering industrialists. Jamsetji created his wealth through textiles. In the late nineteenth century capitalism was at its roughest, he instituted a pension fund for his workers.

Jamsetji established Tata & Sons in 1887 and took as his partners his eldest son, Dorab and a young cousin called Ratanji Dadabhai Tata. Tata Sons is the promoter of all key companies of the Tata Group and holds the bulk of shareholding in them.

In 1907 The Tata Iron and Steel Company established to set up India’s first iron and steel plant in Jamshedpur. The plant started production in 1912.

In 1917 The Tatas entered the consumer goods industry, with the Tata Oil Mils Company being established to make soaps, detergents and cooking oils.

With respect to its global expansion, Tata’s business history began in 1907 with the establishment of Tata Limited (London) in 1907 followed by its association with Daimler Benz (1950s), Tata Precision Industries (1972), Tata African Holdings (1994), the acquisition of Tetley Tea (UK) by Tata Tea in 2000 and the takeover of the Anglo-Dutch steel company, Corus by Tata Steel in 2007.

Tata Sons holds a stake, ranging from 25 per cent to 75 per cent, in all the other major companies within the group. Today, Tata Sons holds almost 80% of TCS, 22% of Tata Motors and 27% of Tata Steel, The Tatas also hold a stake of 46% in VSNL.
History of Tata Group


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