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Jamshed J Irani passes away at 86: All you want to know about 'Steel Man of India'

Jamshed J Irani was born on June 2, 1936 in Nagpur to Jiji Irani and Khorshed Irani. 

Jamshed J Irani passes away at 86: All you want to know about 'Steel Man of India'

Popularly known as Steel Man of India and credit for Tata Steel's success, Jamshed J Irani passed away in Jamshedpur last night. He was 86 and is survived by his wife Daisy Irani and his three children, Zubin, Niloufer, and Tanaaz. Tata Steel confirmed in a statement that 'the Steel Man of India passed away'. He was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 2007 for his contribution to the industry. Tata Steel said in a statement that Irani will be fondly remembered as a visionary leader who led Tata Steel from the forefront during India's economic liberalisation in the early 1990s and immensely contributed to the growth and development of the steel industry in India. 

Jamshed J Irani was born on June 2, 1936 in Nagpur to Jiji Irani and Khorshed Irani. He completed his BSc from Science College, Nagpur in 1956 and MSc in Geology from Nagpur University in 1958. Irani then secured the prestigious JN Tata scholar and went to the University of Sheffield in the UK and did Masters in Metallurgy in 1960 and a PhD in Metallurgy in 1963.

He started his professional career with the British Iron and Steel Research Association in Sheffield in 1963. He returned to India to join The Tata Iron and Steel Company (now Tata Steel) in 1968. He joined the firm as Assistant to the Director in-charge of Research and Development. He went on to become General Superintendent in 1978, General Manager in 1979, and President of Tata Steel in 1985. He became Joint Managing Director of Tata Steel in 1988, and Managing Director in 1992 before retiring in 2001.

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He joined the Board of Tata Steel in 1981 and was also a Non-Executive Director from 2001 for a decade. Besides Tata Steel and Tata Sons, Irani also served as a Director of several Tata Group companies, including Tata Motors and Tata Teleservices. He also held the post of National President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) from 1992-93.

Irani retired from the board of Tata Steel in June 2011, leaving behind a legacy of 43 years, which won him and the company international acclaim in various fields.

Irani was conferred several honours, including his appointment as an International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1996 and an Honorary Knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997 for his contributions to Indo-British Trade and cooperation.

Irani was also the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Government of India in 2008 as an acknowledgement of his services in the area of metallurgy.

Tata Steel CEO and MD T V Narendran said Irani transformed the company in the nineties and made it one of the lowest-cost steel producers in the world. "He helped build a strong foundation on which we grew in the subsequent decades. He led with courage and conviction and was a role model and mentor for many in Tata Steel then and now. The employees of Tata Steel past and present are indebted to his leadership during turbulent times," he said.

Condoling the demise of Irani, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran said Irani was a quintessential Tata man. "He was a towering corporate personality whose contribution to the steel industry was immense. Dr Irani will be deeply missed by all of us at Tata Group and we pray for his departed soul," he said.

(With PTI inpjuts)

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