Marking the 114th birth anniversary of its Former Chairman, JRD Tata, the Tata group has re-opened Bombay House, its global headquarters in Mumbai. Built in 1924, the 94-year-old heritage building has undergone energetic refurbishment and restoration for the first time in its history. Ratan N Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons, inaugurated the iconic building in the presence of N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons, and other Tata employees after a 9-month-long restoration process.
The fresh look, both in terms of aesthetics and functionalities, reflects the changing workplace at the Tata group – open, agile, future-focused and yet deeply connected to its rich heritage. Further, the new office space wears a modern look with well-designed common and collaborative spaces to meet the requirements of business today. The facade of the building remains unchanged, retaining its Edwardian neo-classical look.
Mr Chandrasekaran said, “It’s a historic occasion and a great tribute to reopen the new Bombay House on JRD Tata birth anniversary. The renovation of this 94-year-old heritage building, the first in its history, has revolved around designing for the employees a more modern, collaborative and informal workplace equipped with the best of technologies and security systems.
We have built an experience centre in the building that captures the rich heritage, the history, the social good as well as the current and future offerings of the group. The storytelling reflects the journey of the group from inception till today through its strong leadership, their vision and their futuristic thinking. The endeavour behind this is to inspire and remind the future generations and all of us, the values and ethos with which this group was set up and has been functioning for the last 150 years.”
To mark the character of the iconic building, a grand entrance has been built that creates a sense of entry and adds to its charm. Each floor has been designed with agile workspaces and semi-formal collaboration zones for teams to work together. Enhanced natural lighting, and the paintings, photographs and art installations that adorn the walls have created a vibrant environment for employees and visitors.
The ground floor has been converted into a shared space housing a coffee lounge, informal breakout places, and the Tata Experience Centre (TXC). TXC, a digital museum, is aimed at giving visitors an immersive experience into the world of Tata using digital technologies for effective storytelling. In a first for Bombay House, a kennel has been created for the canine friends who have been an integral part of the building for decades. The four floors of the building house offices of major Tata organisations. The historic boardroom on the fourth floor has been restored to its original beauty with only technology being a new addition.
The new technology set up in the building has been designed to create digital workplaces with seamless integration. Each floor has digital meeting rooms with immersive technology to enable seamless collaboration. A custom-made app has been developed to bring together all the technology controls through an intuitive and simple interface.
Bombay House was built on the two plots of land bought by Sir Dorabji Tata, the group’s second Chairman and Jamsetji Tata’s elder son, from the Bombay Municipality in 1920. The building was designed by the well-known architect, George Wittet, who was also the architect of the Gateway of India, the Prince of Wales Museum (now called Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya) and other iconic buildings of Mumbai.
The journey of the restoration of Bombay House was unique and emotional for the Tata group. In the One Tata spirit, the products and services of several Tata companies were deployed to see this project to an end.