July 2002 | Farzan R Heerjee

Preaching the gospel of excellence

The Centre for Excellence at Jamshedpur showcases the very best that the House of Tata has to offer

If there is a monument that stands testimony to the Tata tradition and its way of life, it is the Centre for Excellence (CFE) at Jamshedpur. This architectural wonder attempts to capture over a hundred years of the values, ethos and heritage that have transformed the Tata group into a corporate conglomerate of the highest order.

The Centre is much more than a window to Jamshedpur and Tata Steel; it showcases the very best that the House of Tata has to offer. It gives each honoured guest a peep into the spirit that dominates and unifies the wide spectrum of organisations that bear the Tata name.

The Centre gives stakeholders a holistic view of the pioneering efforts of our founders, the planners and technocrats of yesteryears who shaped the destiny of India and launched her on the path to industrialisation. It helps further the Tata legacy while highlighting Tata Steel's business excellence.

The Centre has the distinction of bringing together 17 diverse bodies of management disciplines under a common roof. While Tata Steel is the chief promoter and administrator of the Centre, its day-to-day functioning is managed by the Society for Promotion of Professional Excellence (SPPE). Formally registered as a society in 1993, the SPPE covers a wide range of professional and cultural activities.

The SPPE has, over the years, utilised the Centre’s vast infrastructure, facilities and resources to improve the lives of many people. The Society believes that the success of an organisation is not measured by its material achievements, but by its commitment to serve the needs and interests of the wider community.

Among its many activities, the SPPE chose environment as the language to reach out to Jamshedpur’s schoolchildren. The Society joined hands with the principals of various schools in the city to make the Centre for Excellence a hub of environment-based activities.

An amateur photography competition helped children express their thoughts in pictures; an English essay competition revealed the deep concern children felt for ecological issues; and a quiz was conducted with environment as the theme. Sociologist, ecologist and historian Dr Ramchandra Guha was among those who interacted with the young minds.

Also on the ecology menu was a painting programme where more than 250 kids used the computer mouse, rather than the brush, to create beautiful pictures. But the most memorable of the functions was an interactive session with Bharat Ratna and presidential candidate Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

The Society is striving to ensure that the message and concept of excellence is sent out to every Jamshedpur citizen. It is doing this while working overtime to improve the quality of the community.