Mumbai, May 17 IBNS | 4 months ago

Former chairman and managing director of Tata Steel Russi Mody died in Kolkata on Friday after a prolonged illness.


He was 96.

Born in 1918, Padma Bhushan Rustomji Homusji Mody, popularly known as Russi Mody, is known for his long standing association with Tata Steel Limited, formerly known as TISCO.

He retired from Tata Steel in March 1993, leaving behind a legacy of 53 years, which won him and the company international acclaim in various fields especially in Industrial Relations.

Through his method of practical wisdom and pragmatic decision-making, he led from the front, winning hearts and minds alike.

Son of Homy Mody and Jerbhai, Russi Mody completed his education from the Harrow School and Christ Church College, Oxford, after which he joined the steel company in 1939.

He rose through the ranks to become Chairman of the company.

He was promoted to the position of Director of Personnel in 1953, and took up the position of Director of Raw Materials in 1965.

In 1970, he was appointed as the Director of Operations and became Joint Managing Director in 1972.

He then went on to become the Managing Director of Tata Steel in 1974 and on Oct 23, 1984 he was appointed Chairman and Managing Director of Tata Steel.

The Indian government bestowed the ‘Padma Bhushan’ upon him in 1989 for his exemplary contribution to Indian industry.

Reacting to Mody's demise, Ratan N Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons Limited, said in a statement: "Russi Mody was an institution at Tata Steel. Under his leadership Tata Steel grew significantly and he instituted many human resource initiatives. He was well regarded and respected by the work force throughout his tenure. He lived a full and energetic life and will always be remembered by his friends."

Cryus P Mistry, Group Chairman, Tata Sons, said, “Russi Mody was a stalwart who steered Tata Steel to become one of India’s most respected corporations."

Jamshed J Irani, Former Managing Director Tata Steel & Director, Tata Sons limited, said:"Russi Mody left his stamp on every activity that he touched. He was a giant among men, and never failed to act convincingly in a manner that he thought was right. For most of the 40- odd years that I knew him, and worked with him, he guided me in my duties and we were great colleagues. He left his stamp of authority on all aspects of life in Tata Steel and in Jamshedpur. We will certainly miss him."

B Muthuraman, Vice Chairman, Tata Steel said: "Among Russi Mody’s several multi-dimensional characteristics, what stands out is his passion for people, people aspects and people development. He had a knack of spotting talent and giving opportunity to potential leaders, and all this without the help of the current day performance appraisals, various kinds of tests and so on. He was an excellent judge of people. He would ‘test’ potential leaders by throwing into totally new territory and watch their performance in the new surroundings."

H M Nerurkar, former Managing Director, Tata Steel, said : "Our nation has lost a great human being who realised the importance of excellence in all facets of management and globalisation earlier than many of his peers thereby laying the foundation for the company to grow in the liberalised economy. He will always be remembered for the difference he made to the life of employees of Tata Steel. May his soul rest in peace."

Speaking on Mody's demise, T V Narendran, MD - Tata Steel, India and SEA, said: "Russi Mody has been an iconic leader not only for Tata Steel but also for India. His connect with people in the organization and the communities around us, was legendary. I joined Tata Steel when he was the Chairman & Managing Director and had the privilege of seeing him at work. He was a multi-faceted personality and knew how to lead a full life. On behalf of all my colleagues at Tata Steel, both past and present, I salute Russi Mody."

(Posted on 17-05-2014)

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