‘Steel Man of India’ Jamshed J Irani Passes Away at 86

Jamshed J Irani, former managing director of Tata Steel, died on Monday at the age of 86. He passed away in Jamshedpur’s Tata Main Hospital. Irani received the moniker ‘Steel Man of India’ owing to his tremendous contributions to the Indian steel industry during his 43-year affiliation with Tata Steel. He retired from the company’s board in June 2011.


“We are deeply saddened at the demise of Padma Bhushan Dr Jamshed J Irani, fondly known as the Steel Man of India. Tata Steel family offers its deepest condolences to his family and loved ones,” read a tweet from Tata Steel.

Jamshed J Irani was born in Nagpur on June 2, 1936, to Jiji and Khorshed Irani. He graduated from Science College in Nagpur with a BSc in Science and from Nagpur University with an MSc in Geology. Later, he attended the University of Sheffield in the UK as a J. N. Tata scholar, where he earned a master’s degree in metallurgy in 1960 and a doctorate in the same subject in 1963.

He began his professional career In 1963, with the British Iron and Steel Research Association in Sheffield as a senior scientific officer. When he returned to India in 1968, Irani joined Tata Steel as the director’s assistant (R&D). He was named the general manager in 1979 and president of the company in 1985. In 1992, he took up the role of managing director, which he held until July 2001.

“Change is the outcome of steely resolve & sustained endeavour. Padma Bhushan Dr Jamshed J Irani was a changemaker, who helped build trust for Brand India globally. India is invigorated by his spirit of enterprise. Prayers for the departed soul, condolences to his family,” Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry tweeted.

Jamshed J Irani served as a director for several companies within the Tata Group, including Tata Motors, Tata Teleservices, Tata Steel, and Tata Sons. He received the Padma Bhushan in 2007 in recognition of his contributions to the industry.

Jamshed J Irani is survived by his wife Daisy and three children, Zubin, Niloufer, and Tanaaz.

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