FC Kohli, the Father of Indian Software Industry and 1st CEO of TCS, Passes Away
Faqir Chand Kohli - FC Kohli, often called the Father of the Indian software industry, due to his significant contribution in Indian IT industry, has passed away at the age of 96. A veteran of the Tata group, he was founder and first chief executive (CEO) of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the country's largest software exporter.
In 1951, Mr Kohli had joined Tata Electric Companies (now Tata Power) and helped to set up the load despatching system to manage the system operations. He became director of Tata Electric Companies in 1970. He was the first CEO of TCS, which pioneered India’s IT Revolution and helped the country to build the over $100 billion IT Industry.
Be it the propagation of computerisation in India at a time when no one realised its potential, or bringing the benefits of IT, Mr Kohli saw IT as an instrument of national development.
After obtaining bachelor’s degrees in English and applied mathematics and physics from Punjab University at Lahore, Mr Kohli in 1948 received a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston at Ontario in Canada. He then earned a master’s in electrical engineering in 1951 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and returned to India.
After his retirement as deputy chairman of TCS in 1999, Mr Kohli remained at TCS in a consulting capacity, and worked at using computers and communications to accelerate the spread of adult literacy in India.
He was associated with several professional organisations like the Computer Society of India, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers New York, the Institution of Electrical Engineers, the Indian National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Management Consultants of India.
For his pioneering work, Mr Kohli had received numerous national and international awards, among them the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest honours, in 2002.