Jamshed J Irani, renowned as India’s steel man, died late Monday night in Jamshedpur, according to Tata Steel. He was 86. “The Indian Steel Man has died. Tata Steel mourns the passing of Padma Bhushan Dr. Jamshed J Irani”, Tata Steel stated the news.
He died on October 31, 2022, at 10 p.m., at TMH (Tata Hospital) in Jamshedpur, according to the report. Irani stepped down from Tata Steel’s board of directors in June 2011, leaving behind a 43-year legacy that earned him and the firm international praise in a variety of sectors.
Dr. Irani was born in Nagpur, India on June 2, 1936, to Jiji Irani and Khorshed Irani. He earned his BSc from Science College, Nagpur in 1956 and his MSc in Geology from Nagpur University in 1958.
As a J N Tata scholar, he went on to the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, where he earned a Masters in Metallurgy in 1960 and a PhD in Metallurgy in 1963.
He began his professional career in 1963 with the British Iron and Steel Research Association in Sheffield, although he always desired to contribute to the advancement of the nation. He returned to India in 1968 to work for The Tata Iron and Steel Company (now Tata Steel) as an Assistant to the Director in charge of Research and Development.
He rose through the ranks to become General Superintendent in 1978, General Manager in 1979, and Tata Steel President in 1985. He became Tata Steel’s Joint Managing Director in 1988, then Managing Director in 1992, before resigning in 2001.
He joined Tata Steel’s Board of Directors in 1981 and served as a Non-Executive Director for a decade beginning in 2001. Dr. Irani was a director of numerous Tata Group firms, including Tata Motors and Tata Sons, in addition to Tata Steel and Tata Sons.
In 1992-93, he was also National President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). He was appointed as an International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1996 and an Honorary Knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997 for his services to Indo-British trade and cooperation.
In 2007, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to the industry. Dr. Irani was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Government of India in 2008 for his contributions to metallurgy.
“He will be remembered warmly as a visionary leader who led Tata Steel from the forefront during India’s economic liberalization in the early 1990s and contributed enormously to the expansion and development of steel sector in India,” Tata Steel said.
Dr. Irani is survived by his wife Daisy and three children, Zubin, Niloufer, and Tanaaz. Jamshed Jiji Irani was an industrialist from India. He joined the British Iron and Steel Research Association after receiving a metallurgy education. He afterward worked for Tata Steel, where he retired as Director in 2007. Later in his career, he served on the boards of several Tata group firms, among others. In 2007, he earned the Padma Bhushan.
In June 1993, he joined the board of Tata Motors and was also a director of Tata Sons. He was named Chairman of the Expert Committee for the formulation of the new Companies Act of India by the government in 2004. In 2011, he retired from all Tata company positions.
He served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management in Lucknow. In remembrance of their father, he and his sister Diana Hormusjee founded the Jiji Irani Challenge Cup, a cricket competition organized by the Zorostrian Club of Secunderabad.
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