We lost a Gem in Information Technology!
Achal Chaurasia – FC Kohli Passes Away
The legend Faqir Chand Kohli, the name is not unknown to anyone. That man led the charge and revolutionized the entire software industry in India. He was the founder and also the first CEO of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), now, the largest IT sector company in the world with a valuation of 169.2 billion USD. He was also associated with several other Tata companies namely Tata Power Company and Tata Elxsi. He also chaired the position of president in the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) for his valuable work and contributions.
He was honored with Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honor in 2002 for his contributions to the Indian Software Industry. Despite being a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) the US, Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) the UK, Institution of Engineers India, and the Computer Society of India among many others. For his achievements and dedication to the Information Technology (IT) Industry, he was awarded honorary degrees from Shiv Nadar University, University of Waterloo, Canada, Robert Gordon University in Scotland, IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur, Jadavpur University, Queen’s University, and University of Roorkee. His laurels do not stop here, he was presented with
“Dadabhai Naoroji Memorial Award” in the year 2000.
“Lifetime achievement award” from The Economic Times in 2002.
Another “Lifetime Achievement Award” by All India Management Association (AIMA) in 2017.
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Why was he named “Father of Indian IT Industry”?, he was a true pioneer who dedicated his life to the development and enhancement of Information Technology in India. He is also responsible for the introduction of advanced engineering and management techniques for power system operations in India. Upon his arrival in India around the 1950s, he soon joined Tata Electric Company where he paved his way up the chain of command from being general superintendent in 1963 to the deputy general manager in 1967, later to get the position of Director in the same company. In 1969, J R D Tata offered him to set up Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), upon formation, he was the first CEO and also the deputy chairman of TCS, where he agreed to serve for 3 consecutive decades. Impressed by his work, he was given a key position on the board of Tata Sons, Tata Industries, Tata Unisys, Tata Electric Company, Tata Honeywell, Tata Technologies Singapore. Not Tata had eyes on him, he served as director for Airline Software Development Consultancy India, Airline Financial Support Services India, Abacus Distribution Systems, and Triveni Engineering Works. During and after his time as President of NASSCOM he continued to shape the Indian IT Industry and made some key partnerships around the globe to deliver numerous IT-related services from India itself.
A timeline of his work life would suffice about his dedication and work;
In 1973, he was Director of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
In 1977, he was appointed as the Director of Tata InfoTech Limited.
In 1982, he was named Director of Bradma of India Limited.
In 1988, he was appointed Chairman of WTI Advanced Technology Limited.
In 1989, he led Tata Elxsi (I) Limited.
In 1991, he was given the position of Director in Tata Technologies (Pte) Limited, Singapore.
Triveni Engineering Works Limited hired him as Director in 1994.HOTV Inc. Of US gave him the Director position in 1999.
Director of Engineering Analysis Center of Excellence Pvt. Limited in 1999.
In 1999, he was the director of eBIZ Solutions Limited.
Edutech Informatics India (P) Limited’s Director in 2000.
Technosoft SA, Switzerland had him for Director in 2000.
In 2000 he was given directorship in Sun F&C Asset Management (I) Pvt. Limited.
Aerospace Systems Pvt. Limited as Director in 2000.
In 2002, he was appointed Director of Media Lab Asia Limited.
F C Kohli groomed and tutored many individuals who would further come to be great leaders and he is the sole reason behind the revolutionized and developed Indian IT Industry. Upon his retirement from TCS in 1999 he continued to Direct and consult TCS in any way possible. After his retirement, he decided to dedicate the rest of the time towards adult literacy in India, Problems, and Solutions related to Water purification, and Regional language computing efforts.
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Today Indian IT Services Industry stands at 190 Billion USD valuation and we owe most of it to The Father of the Indian IT Industry, Faqir Chand Kohli. The passing away of Sir F C Kohli is a huge disappointment and loss to Indian IT Industry. Deep condolences have been offered from all around the world and from the Tata Group. His involvement and dedication are the reason today we sit at this position of an IT giant of a country. Kohli’s vision and dedication were incomparable and the incredible work he did, the path he paved for the rest of the country are incomparable. A true leader. A legend. He was quoted as “Giant among the Giants!”
Author- Achal Chaurasia
A young businessman who has been in the line of entrepreneurship for quite a few years. He is an active learner and loves to know more about new technological developments coming up as well as how they can be put to great use to yield better results for society.