India’s “Steel Man” JJ Irani, Tata Steel Ex Managing Director, Dies

Jamshed J Irani, known as the steel man of India, died in Jamshedpur late Monday night, Tata Steel said. He was 86.

Jamshed J Irani, known as the steel man of India, died in Jamshedpur late Monday night, Tata Steel said. He was 86.

“The Steel Man of India passes away. It is with profound grief that Tata Steel informs of the demise of Padma Bhushan Dr Jamshed J Irani,” Tata Steel said in a statement.

He passed away on October 31, 2022 at 10 PM at TMH (Tata Hospital) in Jamshedpur, it said.

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.

Born on June 2, 1936 in Nagpur to Jiji Irani and Khorshed Irani, Dr Irani completed his BSc from Science College, Nagpur in 1956 and MSc in Geology from the Nagpur University in 1958.

He then went to the University of Sheffield in UK as a J N Tata scholar, where he secured a 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, but always yearned to contribute to the Nation’s progress. He returned to India to join The Tata Iron and Steel Company (now Tata Steel), as it was then known, in 1968, and 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.

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, Dr 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) for 1992-93.

He was conferred several honours, including his appointment as 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 Co-operation.

He was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 2007 for his contribution to industry.

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

“He will be fondly remembered as a visionary leader who led Tata Steel from the forefront during India’s economic liberalisation in the early 1990’s and immensely contributed to the growth and development of the steel industry in India,” Tata Steel said.

Dr Irani is survived by his wife Daisy Irani and his three children, Zubin, Niloufer, and Tanaaz.


From a humble background Nagpur with zeal for knowledge to Sheffield onwards to Jamshedpur in the ’70s making the Steel Town his home.

Found his life partner at this picturesque town.

Led an eventful joyful life ascending to be the MD of Tata Steel from the shopfloor and Director of holding Company Tata Sons. A remarkable achievement.

Brought about CHANGE with scientific temperament as head of the Steel Company moving with times 9f technology and management development thus ensuring nation’s pioneering steelmill established in early Twentieth Century to rejuvenate and spread its wings offshore, expand with state of the art plant and machinery CATALYSED by AUTOMATION processes and having of manpower to retain its pride as one of the finest steel producers in the world with exemplary excellence in every facet of production and human relationship.

A mantle and beacon that makes every Indian heart swell with pride of considering Tata Steel as their own ‘we also make steel’ to ‘steel in our everyday life’.

He has lived …

precept of Zoroastrianism is – Humata, Hukhta, Hvarshta, which means “up to the end of my life, I will adhere in my mind to good thoughts (Humata), I will adhere in my speech to good words (Huktha), I will adhere in my actions to good deeds (Hvarshta)

May His great soul rest in peace!



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One comment

  • Thank you very much for this info. I was born and brought up in Jamshedpur. My father Minocher Cowasji Dalal worked in TISCO for 48 years.
    Very sad to know about Mr. JJ Irani’s passing away. May Ahura Mazda rest his soul in eternal peace. Amin!

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