About Tata Trusts

Jamsetji Tata
What advances a nation or a community is not so much to prop up its weakest and most helpless members, but to lift up the best and the most gifted, so as to make them of the greatest service to the country." - Jamsetji Tata


In a country that is home to the world’s second-largest population, when one of its largest enterprises providentially happens to be a philanthropic organisation, it raises hopes for a promising and sustainable future. For people across the country, the Tata Trusts symbolise humanitarianism and personify the prodigious force that advances new frontiers of social and economic development.

A dream that lives on

The journey of a million smiles began in 1892 with Jamsetji Tata, the pioneer, visionary and founder of the Tata Group, setting up the JN Tata Endowment for higher education of Indians. Regarded as the 'Father of Indian Industry' and one of the most important builders of the modern Indian economy, Jamsetji introduced the apprentice system at work, crèches and primary classes for children of women mill workers, and free medical help to all employees. Other benefits for the well-being of his staff that were weaved into the policies of several of his propitious ventures included gratuitous pension fund, provident fund, maternity benefit allowance and a compensation fund for accidents for all employees – all of which were ahead of their times. It was during his time that he pioneered the organised flat system of housing and also built the opulent Taj Mahal Hotel.

Jamsetji’s dreams of building a modern steel plant, a hydroelectric power plant and a university of science were fulfilled by his sons — Sir Ratan Tata and Sir Dorabji Tata, who went on to grow his business empire manifold and epitomise his vision of constructive philanthropy. Under the noble lineage of Jamsetji Tata, a number of trusts have been established over the years – the largest being the Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, which operate under the umbrella of the Tata Trusts. The Trusts own two-third of the stock holding of Tata Sons, the apex company of the Tata group of companies.

Making a sustainable difference for over 125 years

Through the century, the Tata Trusts have constantly endeavoured to achieve societal and economic development for attaining self-sustained growth relevant to the nation. They support an assortment of causes such as health, nutrition, education, water and sanitation, livelihoods, social justice and inclusion, skilling, migration and urbanisation, environment, digital literacy, sports, arts, craft and culture, and disaster management to name a few.

They seek to empower, enable and transform communities across India, while improving the quality of life of the tribal, underserved, underprivileged, backward and minority sections, and laying special emphasis on women and children. They have partnered with numerous organisations across the length and breadth of India.

The Trusts established India’s first cancer care hospital, and have seeded and supported several leading institutions – including amongst others, the Tata Centre for Technology and Design at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B), the Tata Centre for Technology and Design within the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Chicago, Tata Centre for Genetics and Society at the University of California San Diego, Harvard University South Asia Institute, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) - Bengaluru, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) - Mumbai, Tata Memorial Centre - Mumbai, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) - Mumbai, and the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) – Bengaluru. They also provide individual grants to support the education and medical costs of the deserving.

The strategic shift

The Trusts have constantly evolved with the changing needs of society and rising developmental challenges of the country. In 2015, they repurposed and recalibrated their strategy and approach. Apart from being a conventional grant-giving foundation, in order to maximise the impact of their work, they also chose to directly implement their interventional programmes, harness affordable and innovative technology, and forge collaborative partnerships with governments, international and local NGOs, and private welfare organisations while presenting a single unified interface to beneficiaries.

By signing-up for operational responsibility for key outcomes and driving those processes through a collaborative approach, the Trusts have taken a lot more ownership of the end outcome of their programmes.

Looking forward

To the Tata Trusts, each developmental challenge is a clarion call for designing interventional programmes and initiatives that stay sustained over the necessary period. Their numerous interventions address several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and stand testimony to the Trusts’ process compliance and their ability to take risks and demonstrate proof of concept at scale. Notwithstanding their presence and contribution in ongoing developmental projects, the Trusts clearly define an exit route for themselves once their programmes achieve the desired traction and scale of operations.

With several new strategies and solutions lined-up within each portfolio, the Trusts are marching towards achieving their mission of positively and sustainably impacting millions of lives through their interventions.

Tata Trusts corporate presentation Tata Trusts Corporate Standee – Guiding Principles Tata Trusts Corporate Standee – Areas of Work
  • Sir Ratan Tata Trust

    Established in 1919, the Sir Ratan Tata Trust is one of the oldest philanthropic institutions in India, and has played a pioneering role in changing traditional ideas of charity.

  • Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust

    The Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust, founded in memory of Sir Ratan Tata's wife Navajbai in 1974, works together with the Sir Ratan Tata Trust to bestow grants.

  • Tata Education and Development Trust

    Set up in September 2008, the Tata Education and Development Trust's activities are multi-faceted in nature and promote social welfare, while placing considerable importance on national development.

  • Bai Hirabai J. N. Tata Navsari Charitable Institution

    Bai Hirabai JN Tata Navsari Charitable Institution was established by a deed of trust dated December 7, 1923, and has had the same Board of Trustees as that of Sir Ratan Tata Trust.

  • Sarvajanik Seva Trust

    The Sarvajanik Seva Trust was registered as a public charitable trust in 1975 and provides grants to individuals for reimbursing costs incurred towards medical treatment, besides giving grants / scholarships to deserving students to pursue higher studies in India.

  • Sir Dorabji Tata Trust

    Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, one of India's oldest and non-sectarian philanthropic organisations, was established in 1932 to catalyse development across the nation through contemporary initiatives.

  • The JN Endowment for the Higher Education of Indians

    The JN Endowment for the Higher Education of Indians has been helping Indian students since 1892 with loan scholarships for higher studies. People consider it a matter of pride to be called a 'JN Tata Scholar'. There are more than 5,600 JN Tata Scholars all over the world.

  • JRD Tata Trust

    Founded in 1944, this Trust offers institutional grants with a focus on overall developmental issues. Additionally, the JRD Tata Trust gives scholarships for studies in India.

  • Jamsetji Tata Trust

    Founded in 1974, this Trust offers institutional grants that are centred on overall developmental issues and has the same programme mandate as the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. It also gives free grants to select JNT scholars.

  • JRD and Thelma J Tata Trust

    Aimed at promoting the welfare, education, health, rehabilitation and overall upliftment of women in India, JRD Tata established the JRD and Thelma J Tata Trust in 1991.

  • Tata Education Trust, Tata Social Welfare Trust and RD Tata Trust

    The Tata Education Trust, Tata Social Welfare Trust and RD Tata Trust were created in 1990. Their primary focus is institutional grant making.

  • Lady Tata Memorial Trust

    The Lady Tata Memorial Trust, established in 1932, funds individual scientific research into diseases of the blood with a special reference to leukaemia internationally, and individual / institutional scientific research for alleviation of suffering due to other diseases in India.

  • Lady Meherbai D Tata Education Trust

    Established in 1932, the Lady Meherbai D Tata Education Trust empowers young Indian women through higher education. It extends scholarships to graduates, from recognised Indian universities, for pursuing higher studies abroad.

Yellow card approach

A five-point approach that we endeavour to incorporate in all future engagements to sustainably change the quality of lives

  •   Scale
  •  Measurable impact
  •  Finite exit route
  •  Sustainability
  •  Adoption and contextual application of the best way to doing things globally

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Tata Trusts history