The father of the Indian IT industry, Faqir Chand Kohli or as he was fondly known FC Kohli, passed away on November 26th. Kohli was the Founder of Indian tech giant Tata Consultancy Services. His professional accolades speak for the kind of leader and visionary he was.
Kohli was the sole non-American recipient of a fellowship, that was bestowed upon him by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE, a professional association for electronic engineering and electrical engineering with its corporate office in New York City,honoring his work and accomplishments in the field. At the time, he was the only non-American in the world to receive the fellowship.
He went on to become a member and fellow of the South East Asia Computer Society, and was the only non-Singaporean who made it.
Speaking of Kohli’s accomplishments at TCS, Tata group patriarch and Chairman Emeritus Ratan N Tata said, "Mr. Faqir Kohli formed and led TCS from its founding days. He guided the company in its early years and defined the vision for its growth...His early vision played an important role in creating the outstandingly successful global IT company that TCS has become today." He further added, “Kohli's contribution in various technology-oriented areas was significant, and he will be remembered as one of the fathers of India’s successful IT industry.”
Expressing deep respect and loss, Tata Sons’ Chairman N Chandrasekaran said, “He was a true legend, who laid the very foundations for India’s spectacular IT revolution and set the stage for the dynamic modern economy we enjoy today.”
He added, “I have had the honour and privilege of working with and learning from him from the day he hired me as a trainee in TCS. Despite his momentous achievements, his simplicity and thoughtfulness are lessons for us all. His enduring optimism and his ability to make ambitious bets leaves a legacy, one that has advanced a nation. I will miss him dearly.”
The respect and a sense of loss is echoed by several leaders who had the opportunity to share space with Kohli, as well as those who took over the reins after his retirement. “Kohli was a brilliant technocrat and a business leader with varied interests. He was passionate about the development of our nation and its youth,” said Former CEO and Vice Chairman of TCS S Ramadorai, who took over the reins of TCS after Kohli retired.
Recalling his early days with Kohli, Ramadorai said, “He always challenged me by presenting me with different situations and new opportunities in our early days. This was something I learned from him and imbibed as I grew to build my teams at TCS later...I will forever cherish the opportunity to have worked with a stalwart like him.”
“The nation has lost a true visionary and legend today,” Ramadorai added.
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