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Faqir Chand Kohli, father of India's software industry, passes away

A doyen of the industry, Kohli was the founder and first chief executive officer of Indian software bellwether Tata Consultancy Services

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | November 27, 2020 | Updated 00:42 IST
Faqir Chand Kohli, father of India's software industry, passes away
Faqir Chand Kohli, the founder and first chief executive officer of Tata Consultancy Services, is no more

Faqir Chand Kohli, regarded as the father of software industry in India, passed away on Thursday. He was 96 years old.

Kohli was the founder and first chief executive officer of Indian software bellwether Tata Consultancy Services. Apart from his long stint with the Tata group, the IT industry veteran was regarded for laying the foundation for the Indian software industry to mould it into globally-renowned sector it is today.

"Sad day for Indian IT. He was not just the 1st CEO of TCS but someone who laid the foundation of India's greatest growth story. Go in peace, Kohli Sir. You leave behind a great legacy #FCKohli," tweeted CP Gurnani, CEO and MD of Tech Mahindra.

Veteran Congress leader Jairam Ramesh reminisced the legacy of Kohli, who he regarded as 'the Bhishmapitamaha of the Indian software industry'. "FC Kohli, the Bhishmapitamaha of the Indian software industry and the founder-builder of TCS, has just passed away. It was always an education to talk to him. He has left behind a fantastic legacy," Ramesh tweeted.

Kohli was born on March 19, 1924, in Peshawar of pre-Independence India where he completed his school education. He went to Government College for Men under Punjab University, Lahore for his BA and BSc (Hons), where we won the university gold medal. He completed his BSc (Hons) in Electrical Engineering in 1948 from Queen's University, Canada. He briefly worked with Canadian General Electric Company, while pursuing MS in Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute for Technology in 1950.

Kohli returned to India in in 1951 after working with different companies in the United States, and joined Tata Electric Companies.In 1969, with the inception of Tata Consultancy Services, he was brought in as the general manager of the new arm of Tata group of companies. After a long and glorious career, during which is shaped the Indian IT industry from the ground up, Kohli hanged his boots in 1999.

Even after retiring, Kohli continued to work as a consultant with TCS. He event went on to work on an adult literacy programme later.

A visionary and luminary responsible for the spearheading the IT Revolution in India, Kohli was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2002.

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