Jamshed Jiji Irani

(1936 –2022)

Dr. Jamshed Jiji Irani passed away on 31.10.2022 at the Tata Main Hospital in Jamshedpur. He was 86 and was ailing for some time. In fact, Dr. Irani had received severe internal injuries as he slipped in February, 2021, in the bathroom at his house near Beldih Golf Course in Jamshedpur. He was rushed to the Tata Main Hospital, where he was treated and discharged, but did not fully recover thereafter. Dr. Irani is survived by wife Daisy Irani and  three  children  Zubin,  Niloufer,  and   Tanaaz. Dr. Irani had a close Nagpur connect, as he was born here and had his education upto the post graduation level in the Orange City. Starting his school education in SFS School, he did B.Sc. from College of Science (now Institute of Science) in 1956 and post graduation in geology from the Nagpur University, P. G. Department of Geology in 1958. He decided to switch over to metallurgy and was awarded the J. N. Tata fellowship to study abroad. Dr. Irani earned his master’s in 1960 and doctorate in 1963 in metallurgy from the University of Sheffield, U.K.. After a stint with British Iron and Steel Research Association, U. K., he returned to India in 1968 and started his innings with Tata Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. (TISCO), now Tata Steel. He soon rose to higher ranks, getting promoted to the post of Managing Director in 1992. Dr. Irani took over as MD from the high profile Mr. Russi Mody.

Soon after, Dr. Irani took steps to make his company’s steel prices competitive for the world market and bagged export orders. At this time Tata’s steel prices were the lowest in the world. His position as the Head of Tata Steel and his apt handling of the company earned him the title “Steel Man of India” who reinvented Tata Steel. He took giant steps to enable local entrepreneurs around Jamshedpur develop their skills and

become suppliers to the Tata companies, including Tata Motors, Jamshedpur. With his initiative, Jamshedpur soon became a hub for ancillary suppliers. With Dr. Irani at the helm of affairs, a new work culture of 8-hour shifts began at Tata Steel.

He was elevated as Director, Tata Sons, a post that he held till 2011, along with boardroom posts in other Tata companies including Tata Motors and Tata Tele Services. Dr. Irani continued to remain on the Tata Steel board as Director till 2011. Dr. Irani was conferred an honorary knighthood (KBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2007 from Government of India. In 2004, the government appointed him as the Chairman of the Expert Committee for formulation of the new Indian Companies Act. He also held the post of National President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) during 1992-93. Dr. Irani was always a cricketer till his last years and also an avid stamp and coin collector. The leader and great visionary retired from all the posts of Tata companies in 2011, settling down at Jamshedpur to lead a peaceful life.

Dr. Irani maintained a deep connect with the Gondwana Geological Society and his moral and philanthropic support always came by, whenever requested for. Our Society is extremely grateful to Dr. Irani for his encouragement and support and has sadly lost one of its most esteemed members. We deeply condole the passing away of Dr. Irani.

Anjan Kr Chatterjee

Former Addl. Director General, Geological Survey of India


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