Faqir Chand Kohli (FC Kohli), father of the Indian IT industry passed away in Mumbai. He was 96 and is survived by his wife Swarn and three children. He died of a heart attack on Thursday afternoon.
Mr. FC Kohli was the founder and CEO of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). He received his master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He returned to India in 1951 and joined the Tata Electric Company. In 1970, he became the director of Tata Electric.
At the behest of JRD Tata, Kohli helped set up the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). As TCS’s first CEO, Kohli spearheaded India’s IT revolution. Thus, leading to building the country’s $190-billion IT industry.
A Padma Bhushan recipient, Kohli’s death has gathered condolences from many people. His contribution to TCS and the Indian Software Industry is nothing short of tremendous.
TCS has issued a press release regarding the death of its founder. It states that Mr. Kohli pivoted first into management consultancy. Furthermore, it said that he then over the next two decades moved into software development, helping the organization navigate multiple technology waves over two and a half decades by continually investing in people and staying relevant to customers.
The release notes that he stepped down from the CEO position in 1996. He did, however, continue to play an active role in promoting technology to solve the country’s social problems.
Former and current TCS CEO’s mourn the loss of their leader
Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran mourned his loss and said that he was deeply saddened by the news.
He 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. Mr. Kohli led innovations in areas far-ranging from adult literacy, water purification, software engineering, software automation, complex-systems, and cybernetics. I have had the honor and privilege of working with and learning from Mr. Kohli from the day he hired me as a trainee in TCS.”
Chandrasekaran added that despite Kohli’s momentous achievements, his simplicity and thoughtfulness are a lesson 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,” he said.
S Ramadorai on loss of FC Kohli: The nation has lost a legend today.
Former vice-chairman of TCS S Ramadorai also expressed his condolences. He called FC Kohli a brilliant technocrat and a business leader with varied interests. He also said that Mr. Kohli was passionate about the development of our nation and its youth.
Furthermore, Ramadorai added, “He was also my mentor, guide, and a very close family friend. His demise is a personal loss to our family. The Nation has lost a legend today.”
CEO and Managing Director of TCS, Rajesh Gopinathan also remembered Mr. Kohli.
“Mr. Faqir Chand Kohli was a true visionary, showing amazing foresight in harnessing the rich engineering talent available in India to create an entirely new industry that defied all odds and grew to be a global powerhouse,” he said. He also said, “Over the nearly three decades that he led TCS, his sense of purpose, his clarity of vision, strength of character and unwavering belief in investing in people left an indelible stamp on the organization’s culture. Mr. Kohli’s contributions to TCS, the Indian IT industry, and to the nation, are immense and immeasurable.”
Gopinathan added, “As we move forward on the path he charted out for us, partnering our customers in their growth and transformation journeys, using technology as a source of social good, and scaling new peaks in creating value for all stakeholders.” Moreover, he said that they will continue to draw inspiration from Mr. Kohli’s passion for technology, intellectual rigor, community spirit, and relentless drive until the very end. “On behalf of all TCSers, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the Kohli family,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his condolences via Twitter.
Shri FC Kohli Ji will be remembered for his pioneering contributions to the world of IT. He was at the forefront of institutionalising a culture of innovation and excellence in the tech industry. Pained by his demise. Condolences to his family and many admirers.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 26, 2020