Russi Modi
Born17 January 1918
Died16 May 2014(2014-05-16) (aged 96)
Alma materOxford
OccupationChairman of Tata Steel from 1984 to 1993
SpouseSiloo Russi Mody
Parent(s)Sir Homi Mody and Lady Jerbhai

Rustomji Homusji Mody,[1] known to most as Russi Mody (17 January 1918 – 16 May 2014), was a chairman and managing director of Tata Steel and a leading member of the Tata Group.

Early years

Russi was born on 17 January 1918 in Bombay (now Mumbai) to a Parsi family.[2] His father was Sir Homi Mody. His mother was Lady Jerbai Mody née Dubash. Russi had two brothers, Kali Homi Mody and Piloo Mody.[3]

Russi Mody Centre Of Excellence

After a few years of schooling in India, he was sent to England for further studies. He studied at St Cyprian's School, Harrow School and later at Christ Church, Oxford. On his return to India he joined Tata Steel as an office assistant.

Russi was married to Siloo Mugaseth, the daughter of his mother's sister, and lived in Kolkata until his death.[4]


Mody joined Tata Steel in 1939 and he was promoted to the position of Director of Personnel in 1953. He took up the position of the Director of Raw Materials in 1965. In 1970, he was appointed Director of Operations and became Joint Managing Director in 1972.[5][6] He was the most generous Managing Director of Tata Steel Ltd. He started many rewards like giving of AC Maruti Suzuki 800 to all Divisional Managers of Tata Steel. He never faced a strike at the Tata Steel Plant.

After retiring from Tata Steel in March 1993, the then Prime Minister of India, Shri P V Narasimha Rao appointed Mody as Joint Chairman of Indian Airlines and Air India.[7]

Russi Mody Centre for Excellence, built by noted architect Hafeez Contractor that contains archives of the Tata Group, was named after him.[8][9]


Hearsay has it that Russi Mody was pulled up by a policeman as he tried to park his car on the narrow road. Admonished with "Tumhara baap ka rasta hain kya?" ("Does this road belong to your father?") the young scion pointed in good humour to the road sign indeed printed with the distinguished paternal name.[10]

He was also known to eat 16-egg omelette for breakfasts.[11]

During his studies at Oxford, he happened to accompany Albert Einstein on the violin, while he played the piano.[12][13][1]

Once, Sir Jehangir Ghandy was scheduled to come to Calcutta on a Wednesday afternoon when he would normally play tennis. In his diary lying on the table, he wrote, "TPT CSC meeting on Wednesday at 3 pm," and told his secretaries to take Sir Jehangir to his room, show him the diary and say that Russi had gone to the meeting. True enough, Sir Jehangir came and was shown the diary. He nodded knowledgeably and walked away. Little did he know that TPT CSC was an abbreviation of "To Play Tennis at Calcutta South Club".[14]



Mody died during the night of 16 May 2014 at a private hospital in Kolkata.[16]


See also


  1. ^ a b "Remembering Russi Mody | Forbes India". Forbes India. Archived from the original on 8 May 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Former Tisco chairman, Russi Mody, dies at 96 – Firstpost". Archived from the original on 24 July 2020. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Tata Luminaries | Tata Central Archives". Archived from the original on 15 September 2018. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Steel Man Russi Mody dies at 96". Archived from the original on 12 May 2019. Retrieved 12 May 2019 – via PressReader.
  5. ^ "Tata Steel Vanguards". Archived from the original on 12 May 2021. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  6. ^ a b Mukherjee, Partha (2008). Russi Modi: The Man who also made Steel. Stellar Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 250. ISBN 978-8190455923.
  7. ^ "The Hindu Business Line". 17 November 2007. Archived from the original on 6 March 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  8. ^ "Russi Mody Centre Of Excellence CE Jamshedpur - Buildings in Jamshedpur, Attractions in Jamshedpur Jharkhand". Archived from the original on 7 February 2018. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Rusi Modi Centre Of Excellence by Hafeez Contractor - Jamshedpur". Archived from the original on 29 July 2018. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Meher Marfatia: Big house in a little lane". mid-day. 17 April 2016. Archived from the original on 9 May 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Russi Mody: The man who lived life king size - Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 18 June 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  12. ^ a b Seth, Niharika (2005). Russi Modi: The Man And His Vision. Rupa & Co. p. 96. ISBN 81-291-0325-7.
  13. ^ "Tata Group Media Reports". Archived from the original on 12 March 2012.
  14. ^ "The steel man who ran away to play tennis". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 June 2018.[dead link]
  15. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  16. ^ "Former Tata Steel and Air India Chairman Russi Mody dies at 96". IANS. Archived from the original on 31 August 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014.

Further reading