Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata
Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata was a Parsi
Parsi or Parsee refers to a member of the larger of the two Zoroastrian communities in South Asia, the other being the Irani community....

 businessman who played a pivotal role in the growth of the Tata Group
Tata Group
Tata Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Tata Group is one of the largest companies in India by market capitalization and revenue. It has interests in communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy,...

 in India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. He was the first cousin of Jamshedji Tata, a pioneering industrialist of India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and the Founder of Tata Sons
Tata Sons
Tata Sons is a promoter of the key companies of the Tata Group and holds the bulk of shareholding in these companies. It was established as a trading enterprise by Group founder Jamsetji Tata in 1868...

. He was one of the partners in Tata Sons founded by Jamshedji Tata. Ratanji is the father of JRD Tata.

Personal life

Ratanji was born in Navsari
Navsari is a city and municipality in the Surat Metropolitan Region and also the administrative headquarters Navsari District of Gujarat, India. Navsari is also the Twin City of Surat, and only 37 km south of Surat.-Geography:...

 in Gujarat in 1856. He studied at the Elphinstone College
Elphinstone College
Elphinstone College is an institution of higher education affiliated to the University of Mumbai. Established in 1856, it is one of the oldest colleges of the University of Mumbai. It was exalted as a prestigious seat of learning during the British Raj and is generally observed for its vibrant alumni...

 in Bombay. After graduating, he took up a course in agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 in Madras. He then joined his family trade in the Far East.

Ratanji was married at an early age to a Parsee girl from the Banaji family. However, she died childless not too long after the marriage. Ratanji was in his forties when he remarried a French woman, Suzanne Brière, in 1902. This was considered revolutionary in his times and was not welcomed by everyone in the Parsi community. They had five children Rodabeh, Jehangir/JRD Tata, Jimmy, Sylla and Darab.

Director of Tata Steel

Tata Steel
Tata Steel
Tata Steel is a multinational steel company headquartered in Jamshedpur, India and part of Tata Group. It is the world's seventh-largest steel company, with an annual crude steel capacity of 31 million tonnes, and the largest private-sector steel company in India measured by domestic production...

 was conceived and commissioned by Jamshedji Tata. However, Jamshedji died before the completion of the project. Ratanji played an important role in the completion of the Tata Steel Project along with Jameshdji's son Dorab
Dorabji Tata
Sir Dorabji Tata , was an Indian industrialist and philanthropist, and a key figure in the history and development of the Tata industrial empire...

 and thus Tata Steel was established in Jamshedpur.

The Tatas supplied steel to the British during the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. However, after the war Tata Steel went through a difficult period in the 1920s as steel was dumped
Dumping (pricing policy)
In economics, "dumping" is any kind of predatory pricing, especially in the context of international trade. It occurs when manufacturers export a product to another country at a price either below the price charged in its home market, or in quantities that cannot be explained through normal market...

 into India from Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

. Ratanji, along with other directors successfully sought protection for the Indian steel industry from the colonial government of the day and steadied the operations of Tata Steel.


Ratanji died in 1926 at the age of 70. JRD Tata succeeded him as one of the permanent directors of Tata Sons. On his death Jamnalal Bajaj
Jamnalal Bajaj
Jamnalal Bajaj was an Indian industrialist, a philanthropist, and Indian independence fighter. He was also a close associate and follower of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi is known to have adopted him as his son. Several institutions in India bears his name, including the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of...

wrote: "If all businessmen in India would acquire half his love for things Indian, there is no reason why all our enterprises should not flourish."
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