The publisher of this book has clarified in the beginning itself that the book is not yet another biography of JRD but carries personal insights of the author into his life story. Divided into five parts, Part A lists some of JRD’s rare qualities in his capacity as the head of Tata Group. In separate chapters, he highlights JRD’s vision and patriotism; his knack in spotting a potential giant and letting him stand out as one. JRD often talks of his approach, “In a large organisation like Tatas, we can always find work for a talented person. We must grab him quick and first, before someone else does, because he will be grabbed alright”; his unflinching loyalty to the interest of the organisation over that of any individual, even if he were JRD’s own creation (the author says that JRD had his favourites but “he never practiced favouritism (Bad for the favourites!)”; his pursuit of excellence; and his unique style of work.
JRD with his individual style of working maintained good health, quite unlike his favourite, Sumant Moologaokar, and as JRD once says, “But I do not take these complaints and worries home. I leave them behind. Similarly, I never worry, nor am I ever under any tension about company matters once I leave office. Sumant however worries about everything in TELCO and he takes the worries and tensions with him, wherever he goes. That is bad for him. That affects his health.”
In Part B the author tries to see the human being within JRD by enumerating quite a few of JRD’s heart-warming qualities and seeking a glimpse into his personal life, all based on his own experiences. When asked how he manages so many people successfully, JRD replies, “Look there are three things. In the first place, I am genuinely interested in people; many others are interested only in themselves and not others Secondly, when I meet anyone for the first time, I smile. That makes the person relaxed. Thirdly, I start by trusting people.”
The book quotes JRD’s personal views on many aspects of life which make for very interesting reading.
(National Book Trust, India, Nehru Bhawan, 5 Institutional Area, Phase II, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi-110070.)