“You’re Special Beyond Words”: JRD Tata’s Secretary Remembers The Legend

"People talk about his business acumen, but the person he was...truly a gem; hard to find in today’s day and age. It’s been my life’s biggest privilege to have served him for 15 years…"

In a heart-warming post for Humans of Bombay, Mrs Aloo Bharthania, the former secretary to JRD Tata, reminisces about the qualities that made him one of the most well-respect industrialists in modern India. Born into a middle-class family in Mumbai, Mrs Bharthania narrates her initial struggles while growing up. After marriage in 1961, she joined Tata Steel, while also juggling responsibilities at home and a law course she had enrolled for.

Balancing all these tasks was exceedingly hard, and she had her moments of doubt.

Mrs Aloo Bhartania. (Source: Humans of Bombay)
Mrs Aloo Bharthania. (Source: Humans of Bombay)

Nonetheless, she carried on, earned her law degree and three children later in the late 1970s, was appointed as JRD Tata’s secretary. “Not only was his work ethic phenomenal, but he was the kindest boss. From little things like bringing chocolates for his mali’s kids’ from his trips abroad to taking care of my family, he cared for everyone,” she says.

Also Read: From a Chawl to a Private School: How a Stranger’s Compassion Changed This Woman’s Life

The two qualities she most remembers were his soft demeanour and humility, and the fact that “he was never too busy for the people he cared about.” She even celebrated his 114th birthday yesterday. Read more about her recollections of JRD Tata, one of the giants of India Inc, below.

(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)

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