The Steel Man of India, popularly called Russi Mody, is no more. Mody had retired from Tata Steel in 1993, after 53 years of exceptional service. Ratan N Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons, described him as an institution at Tata Steel. Through practical wisdom and pragmatic decision-making, Russi Mody led from the front, winning hearts and minds. An industry pioneer, he implemented human resource development long before it became a common practice.
Russi Mody was educated at the Harrow School and Christ Church College, Oxford, after which he joined the steel company in 1939 and rose to become its Chairman. He was promoted as the Director of Personnel in 1953 and later became the Director of Raw Materials in 1965. In 1970, he was appointed Director of Operations and became Joint Managing Director in 1972. He went on to become the Managing Director in 1974 and in 1984, he was appointed Chairman and Managing Director of Tata Steel.
Russi Mody’s own experience of rising through the ranks gave him a sense of empathy and appreciation for the workers' welfare. Russi Mody was also the forerunner of the technological turnaround at Tata Steel, setting a benchmark for the steel industry. He got the Padma Bhushan in 1989 for his exemplary contribution to the industry. Mody will always be remembered for his passion and humility. He demonstrated the value of human resources which form the foundation of a successful enterprise.