Aeroplanes are the No 1 human invention in my view. It just amazes me beyond dreams when I see a plane taking off but this extreme Boeing 787 take-off will blow your mind away. It was conducted in an air show in Paris this year (link below to download & play).
Some Fact about Boeing 787
Boeing 787 known as Dreamliner was first rolled out in 2007.
First flight took off in December 2009 and first commercial flight took off in October 2011
There are around 300 planes in service currently.
Boeing 787 can accommodate up to 335 passengers.
Its wings are elegantly curved upward such that it appears like a bird floating in air. This design feature reduces air friction as well noise, making it more fuel efficient.
787’s list price starts from $ 146 million for basic model, going to up to $2 00 Million
It is a long range, highly modern, two-engine passenger plane.
most of its systems such as braking, pressurising, de-icing etc are all electrical.
I happened to come across an article written about Tata Family & Company. It fascinated me and intrigued me to explore more. Tata Group is one of the most famous Indian Multinational companies.
Facts speak for themselves:
11th most reputable company in the world according to a survey!
More than 100 operating companies in the group
Operates in more than 100 countries across six continents
Total Revenue around $103 Billion (2014)
Ranked as 34th top World Brand Name at a value of $21 Billion (Name Alone!).
But this article is not about Tata as a successful business. So what is so special about Tata? Read on. Its Group’s slogan is:
“Improving the quality of life of the communities we serve”
Do they live by it? We need to examine Tata’s history as well look at its founder’s life.
The company was founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868. Coming from a Parsi business family he had a natural talent in business; Jamsetji made a fortune in trading cotton, tea, copper, brass etc. But this was not his motive; he had great interest in innovation, technology & its use to improve ordinary people’s lives. He desired having everything “Made in India”.
Build the Nation
Jamsetji established “Empress Textile Mills”, the first textile mills of the India in 1877. But his biggest wish was to establish a steel plant which was realised after his death by his son Dorab in 1907 when Tata Steel started production and making India the first Asian country to have its own steel plant. Today Tata Steel is among top 10 best Steelmakers.
Jamsetji visited many countries to gather ideas, talented people & latest technology to bring it back to India. He was a man with a specific vision. He did not believe in charity, rather advancement through grooming & education. He loved science & technology and craved to establish a science institute as well as a hydro-electric power plant.
“What advances a nation or a community is not so much to prop up its weakest and most helpless members, but to lift up the best and the most gifted, so as to make them of the greatest service to the country,”
Jamsetji eventually succeeded in establishing “Indian Institute of Science” hence providing India with plenty of engineers & scientists for generations to come.
Business & Employees Hand in Hand
Even before Western people thought of labour welfare, Tata Group introduced pensions (1877), the eight-hour working day (1912) and maternity benefits (1921) for its employees.
“In a free enterprise the community is not just another stakeholder to business, but is in fact the very purpose of its existence,”
Jamsetji cared for his employees. He ordered his sons to build a model industrial town to be carved out of the jungle for the workers. He was very specific:
“Be sure to lay wide streets planted with shady trees… Be sure that there is plenty of space for lawns & gardens. Reserve large areas for football, hockey & parks. Earmark areas for Hindu temples, Mohammedan mosques & Christian churches,”. And they did; outcome was the creation of Jamshedpur.
Taj Mahal Hotel
Let’s not forget Taj Mahal Hotel of Bombay. Jamsetji absolutely adored Bombay as it was his town of birth & living. There was only one reasonable hotel here, the ‘Watson’. But it was not up to standards; on top of it, Indians were not allowed. Not acceptable, I will build a hotel of standard, declared Jamsetji; so the Taj Mahal Hotel was born in 1903. It was the first building in the city lit with electric lamps & had lifts –people from all over the world came to see this splendour.
Soon afterwards he passed away. Jamsetji was dubbed as a Man of Steel. Tata story didn’t end here; his successors continued his work to same glory.
JRD – Father of Indian Aviation
Jehangir Tata known as JRD reined the group for nearly half a century (1938 to 1988) taking it to new heights. Tata assets rose from $100 Million to $5 Billion under his leadership. He had avid interest in aviation. JRD became the first person to qualify as pilot in India. JRD established the first airline in India, not surprising called “Tata Airlines” in 1932! It was later nationalised by the government and named as Air India. JRD was appointed as its first chairman. It doesn’t stop here; JRD established “Tata Consultancy” in 1968 to computerise the company’s paper-based records – today it is the most profitable company in the whole Tata Group, providing IT services globally, and among top 10 Global IT service company.
“I do not want India to be an economic superpower. I want India to be a happy country.”
JRD just like his predecessors had keen interest in people welfare. He established Asia’s first ever cancer Research & Treatment Hospital in Bombay (1941).
The Tata story goes on. They can be found everywhere, from IT to Tea; yes they own the famous British tea brand Tetley as well Jaguar & Land Rover. India owes a lot to them for sure!
Tata & Humanity in Figures
Are Tata family very Rich? Tata Group is but not so the family; they own merely 3% of Tata Group:
Total Group Assets are US$ 114 Billion
Tata Trusts & Charities Own 66% of it.
30% belongs to Shareholders
And Tata Family Owns only 3%
Jamsetji once said:
“Money is like manure. It stinks when you pile it; it grows when you spread it.”
And this is not the reason. Read on..
‘Ittefaqan’ (by chance), it reminds me of another family famous for Iron business in Pakistan! No point wasting time on exploring how successful they have been in business and how much they have returned to the nation from which they ‘earned’ billions; you all know. No doubt they are visionary; their business spans across continents. Mr Prime minister visited Karachi to attend an emergency meeting last week to discuss the dire law & order situation there. After lavish lunch of BBQ, Fish Finger, Malai Boti, Daal Chawal, Trifle, he commented “Food was weak [not up to standards]”!!
Don’t Give Hungry a Fish
Coming back to Tata, they don’t believe in feeding a hungry, rather empowering him:
“Give hungry a fish & you feed him for a day; teach a man to catch fish and you feed him for a lifetime”
Let’s look at the charitable trusts established by Tata:
Institute of Fundamental Research,
Institute of Social Sciences,
Institute of Science
National Centre for Performing Arts
Management Training Centre
Energy & Resources Institute
Tata Medical Centre
Cancer Research & Treatment Hospital
The striking point you would have noticed that “Help the Needy” type organisations are missing from the list. No disrespect to the work of Edhi & the like but these efforts will never eradicate the needy; we have to eliminate the root causes of the needs i.e. prepare the nation & provide opportunities to the nation.
And this is the Reason that inspired me…
There is another striking point; Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, Warren Buffet & other richest people have also donated most of their wealth but they did so after becoming rich; Tata planned around it from day one.
(Note: Please don’t forget, fundamentally it is the right system applied justly that ensures the opportunities are provided for the nation, but it is a separate subject).
Helen lives in Oklahoma USA with five of her children & grandchildren including two toddlers. They had not eaten for two days; their social welfare check didn’t arrive on time. Kitchen cupboards are completely empty. Only $1.25 in her pocket she goes to nearby supermarket to fetch some food for the children. Helen chooses a pack of eggs but she was 50 pence short; the shopkeeper refuses to give her credit. Out of desperation she decides to steal 3 eggs to at least feed her children. On her way out of the shop she was caught red handed.
Shop staff calls the Police. Helen is convinced she is going to jail now. Officer William arrives at the scene. Crying Helen explains to Officer William, “I need to put food in my babies’ stomach”. Officer is shocked as he learns the whole story. He asks Helen to wait outside and runs inside the store, buys a whole dozen eggs and hands these to Helen. He advises her not to do it again and let her go home.
Someone watching this incident recorded it and uploaded it on the internet. Soon people started donating food for Helen in the police station. Couple of days later Officer William takes a car full of food to deliver to Helen. She was stunned to see so much food at once; “my cabinets have never been this full”.
When we think of hunger we imagine 3rd world of Asia or Africa; it is hard to believe this is happening in the Land of Opportunities – the USA. It is far more common in USA as well as UK let alone rest of the Europe.
Paul is 55 years old & lives in UK. He worked continuously for 40 years and then suddenly lost his job. He could not get another job – poverty struck; “we remained hungry for two weeks once”. The girl says I can go without eating for a week. Boy says he fainted at work due to hunger. They rely on local charity “Food Bank” to get some ration every week.
3.5 million People in UK can’t afford proper food, according to BBC News. So, if USA, UK & rest of the Europe is richer than the whole word, why such a poor people here then?
It is not the poverty but the inequality is the issue. It is in fact the inequality that leads to more and more poor in a society. There are enough resources in the world that can feed all the population adequately. The $240 billion net income in 2012 of the richest 100 billionaires would be enough to make extreme poverty a history four times over. But who cares.
Oxfam predicts richest 1% will own more wealth than rest of 99% by 2020. It is in fact the greed of few people to acquire as much as they can and leave nothing for the rest.
John Lanchester writes in the Guardian stating it is a global trend that society is transforming into winners & losers (rich & poor) with middle class disappearing fast; and that winners do their best to ensure the privileges are transferred to their children – a feudal society. Like it or not, “it is likely to be our future”.
So how this goal is achieved by the Feudals? John writes:
“Rising inequality is not a law of nature – it’s not even a law of economics. It is a consequence of political and economic arrangements, and those arrangements can be changed.”
So what are the current political & economic systems?