Faqir Chand Kohli, fondly called the father of India’s IT industry, died on Thursday at the age of 96. Born on March 19, 1924, Kohli was the first chief executive officer (CEO) of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), India’s largest IT services company.
As a pioneer of India’s IT revolution, Kohli laid the foundation for the country’s IT-ITeS services industry, which has since grown to $191 billion.
As chairman of Nasscom in 1994-95, Kohli led the industry and Nasscom to build global partnerships in key markets, showcase the opportunity for IT services from India and build a culture of collaboration among industry members.
Born and raised in Peshawar, Kohli graduated in Physics from Punjab University. With a Government of India scholarship, in 1946, he left for Canada where he pursued a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston, followed by a Masters in electrical engineering in 1951 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US.
Kohli’s career with the Tata Group began when he joined Tata Electric (now Tata Power) in 1951. He helped set up the load dispatching system to manage the system operations and went on to become director of Tata Electric Companies in 1970. After an illustrious career, he retired from TCS in 1999 although he remained with it in a consulting capacity. For his pioneering work, he was honoured with numerous national and international awards, including the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honour, in 2002.
TCS said in a statement that Kohli had joined the company in 1969 at the behest of JRD Tata.
N Chandrasekaran, chairman, Tata Sons said he had the privilege of working with and learning from Mr Kohli from the day he hired him as a trainee in TCS.
Source- Hindustan Times.