|Charles Page Perin
search of steel
Jamsetji journeyed America in order to gather the best expertise
and the most advanced technologies for his plant. He studied
the coking processes at Birmingham and Alabama, and visited
reputed ore markets like the one in Cleveland. Then he proceeded
to procure the services of Kennedy, Sahlin & Co. the best
firm in the field of metallurgical engineering. At Pittsburgh,
he met Julian Kennedy, one of the partners, who warned him
of prolonged investigative procedures and mammoth expenditure.
But Kennedy was so impressed by his zeal that he directed
Jamsetji to Charles Page Perin, a surveyor of international
repute, a historic meeting took place between the two which
Perin recapitulated later thus:
“I was poring over some accounts in the office when
the door opened and a stranger in a strange garb entered,
He walked in, leaned over my desk and looked at me fully a
minute in silence. Finally, he said in a deep voice, ‘Are
you Charles Page Perin?’ I said, ‘Yes’.
He stared at me again silently for a long time, and then slowly
he said, ‘I believe I have found the man I have been
looking for. Julian Kennedy has written you that I am going
to build a steel plant in India. I want you to come to India
with me, to find suitable iron ore and coking coal and the
necessary fluxes. I want you to take charges as my consulting
engineer. Mr. Kennedy will build the steel plant wherever
you advise and I will foot the bill. Will you come to India
‘I was dumbfounded, naturally. But you don’t
know what character and force radiated from Tata’s face.
And kindliness, too. ‘Well’, I said, ‘Yes,
I’d go.’ And I did”. Before coming to India
himself, he deputed his partner, a geologist, C M Weld, to
prospect for raw materials.