Timeless stories from India’s largest business group

Penguin Books India

The Tata Saga (2018 published) is a compilation of extracts taken from articles and books on the Tata family and their businesses.

The Tatas are a well-known Parsi family, based in Bombay, famed for their philanthropy. Readers new to this dynasty will not enjoy this book. It lacks a chapter introducing the family history in a chronological manner.

The Tata Group was founded in 1868. It celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2018. (page ix).
The founder was Jamsetji Tata who also built the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Bombay.

Jamsetji Tata was succeeded as chairman of the Tata Group by his son Sir Dorabji Tata in 1904.
On his death, as he had no son, the chairmanship went to the son of Jamsetji ‘s sister. His name was Sir Nowroji Saklatwala. (p 80 and 87).

Just 6 years later he died of a sudden heart attack. He was succeeded by JRD Tata who was the son of Jamsetji ‘s first cousin. (p 91)

What is striking to me is the lack of progeny to continue the immediate family tree. There doesn’t seem to be an obsession, unlike a Chinese family.

The TATAs legacy is secured. 66 % of the profits from the Tata Group is used for charity as The Tata Trusts own 66% of Tata Sons, the parent company of the Tata Group. (p x).

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