The Romance of Tata Steel


Year First Published: 2007


The hand of history has woven the tapestry of the Tatas. Just over a hundred years ago Jamsetji Tata requested the Secretary of State for India, Lord George Hamilton, the co-operation of the British Raj in starting India’s first steel works. On the hundredth anniversary of the registration of Tata Iron & Steel Company, the company won the bid to purchase the Anglo-Dutch steel giant CORUS. And so the wheel has turned a full circle.

R.M. Lala traces a hundred years and more of the exciting history of Tata Steel – from men searching for iron ore and coking coal in jungle areas, traversing in bullock carts before the site was found, to the company’s modern status as a world-class company. He brings to life a seldom-voiced account of the courage, vision and commitment of the men who created India’s first modern industrial venture which was to be the fountainhead of its industrial growth.

Few are aware that an American consultative firm told Tata Steel in a confidential report in the early 1990s that if it did not act speedily the steel plant could close down. It was at this point of time that Dr. J. J. Irani took over as Managing Director and with great skill and leadership turn round the company and in 2001 it became the No.1 steel plant in the world according to the bible of the steel industry, “World Steel Dynamics.”

Writing in the foreword, Ratan N. Tata says, “Russi has captured the ‘touch and feel’ of events in Tata Steel from its early days; its role in the war effort, its contribution to the economy’s development in the early days of India’s independence and it more recent transformation into a vibrant modern steel plant – recognized internationally as one of the world’s most cost effective steel manufacturers. Russi also succeeds in bringing to life the human side of the company in a very readable and cogent manner.”

“Great Account” – Hindu Business Line.

“The book is a remarkable story of remarkable people who have nurtured a great dream into reality. Lala’s effort of digging deep in the archives to knit an enjoyable story is indeed laudable.” – The Tribune, New Delhi.


Buy it online – Romance of Tata Steel