Tata, Textiles, Iran, India, Soda And Africa

©Renee 2013

Once upon a time in British India there was a man named:


Sir Dorabji Tata (27 August 1859 – 3 June 1932) was an Indian businessman, and a key figure in the history and development of the Tata Group. Dorabji Tata was knighted in 1910 for his contributions to industry in British India.

Dorabji Tata.jpg

Dorab, or Sir Dorabji, as he was later known, was the elder son of Hirabai and Parsi Zoroastrian Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata. He received his primary education at the Proprietary High School in Bombay (now Mumbai) before travelling to England in 1875, where he was privately tutored. He entered Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge in 1877, where he remained for two years before returning to Bombay in 1879. He continued his studies at St. Xavier’s College, Bombay, where he obtained a degree in 1882.

Upon graduating, Dorab worked for two years as a journalist at the Bombay Gazette. In 1884, he joined the cotton business division of his father’s firm. He was first sent to Pondicherry, then a French colony, in order to determine whether a cotton mill might be profitable there. Thereafter, he was sent to Nagpur, in order to learn the cotton trade at the Empress Mills which had been founded by his father in 1877.

He was then sent to Mysore State, where he was advised to call on Dr. H. J. Bhabha, the first Indian Inspector-General of Education (He is different from Homi J. Bhabha). Dorab did so, where he met Bhabha’s sister Meherbai, whom he married in 1897.


Tata family is a family of Indian industrialists and philanthropists who founded ironworks and steelworks, cotton mills, and hydroelectric power plants that proved crucial to India’s industrial development. The Tata were a Parsi priestly family who originally came from the former Baroda state (now Gujarat). The founder of the family’s fortunes was Jamsetji Tata.

Other prominent members of the family include:

See also


“Tata family tree”. At Tata Central Archives.

Dorab Tata
Born (1859-08-27)27 August 1859 Bombay, British India
Died 3 June 1932(1932-06-03) (aged 72) Bad Kissingen, Germany
Ethnicity Parsi
Alma mater Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University of Bombay
Occupation Former chairman of Tata Group
Known for Founder of Tata Steel Founder of Tata Power Founder of Tata Chemicals
Religion Zoroastrian
Spouse(s) Meherbai
Jamsetji and Hirabai



A new threat to Lake Natron is the proposed development of a soda ash plant on its shores. The plant would pump water from the lake and extract the sodium carbonate to convert to washing powder for export. Accompanying the plant would be housing for over 1000 workers, and a coal-fired power station to provide energy for the plant complex. In addition, there is a possibility the developers may introduce a hybrid brine shrimp to increase the efficiency of extraction.

Ol Doinyo Lengai seen from Lake Natron

According to Chris Magin, the RSPB‘s international officer for Africa, “The chance of the lesser flamingoes continuing to breed in the face of such mayhem are next to zero. This development will leave lesser flamingoes in East Africa facing extinction”. Currently a group of more than fifty East African conservation and environmental institutions are running a world-wide campaign to stop the planned construction of the soda ash factory by Tata Chemicals Ltd of Mumbai, India and National Development Corporation of Tanzania. The group working under the umbrella name Lake Natron Consultative Group is being co-ordinated by Ken Mwathe, Conservation Programme Manager at BirdLife International‘s Africa Secretariat.

As per communication as on June 2008 Tata Chemicals shall not proceed with the Natron Project and further re-examination of this project will be subject to the Ramsar Wetlands plan, which is currently under preparation.


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