|Alma mater||Jabalpur Engineering College|
|Occupation||Founder, HCL Technologies, Chairman: National Institute of Foundry and Forge Technology (NIFFT),Ranchi, IIIT -Naya Raipur|
|Children||Kunal Chowdhry, Akshay Chowdhry|
Ajai Chowdhry (born 29 August 1950) is one of the six founder members of HCL Technologies. A highly decorated Indian Industry icon, today he is an inspiration for young Indians. He is currently the Chairman-Board of Governors at National Institute of Foundry and Forge Technology (NIFFT), Ranchi,International Institute of Information Technology, Naya Raipur.
Early life and education
Ajai's parents migrated to India, from Pakistan, during the Partition of India, along with six children. They came to a refugee camp in Delhi. Later, Ajai's father picked up a job in Mount Abu, to get the accession of the princely states. Ajai was born in Mount Abu, on 29 August 1950. Ajai is the youngest of the seven siblings. In 1955, his father joined Indian Administrative Service.
Ajai Chowdhry did his schooling from Christ Church School, Jabalpur. He passed out of school in 1966. Thereafter, he graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics and Telecom) degree, from Jabalpur Engineering College, in 1971. He has also completed an Executive Program from the University of Michigan, in 1994.
Beginning his career in 1972, Ajai Chowdhry worked with DCM Data Products. In 1975, he quit his job to start Microcomp.
Ajai Chowdhry has been a key force in driving the growth of HCL. He led the foundation of HCL's overseas operations, starting with Singapore in 1980s and later expanded to the other South Asian Markets. Ajai Chowdhry was also a key force in driving the growth of HCL Infosystems, the flagship company of the group. He took over the reins of HCL Infosystems in early 90s and became the Chairman of the company in 1999. His leadership infused tremendous energy taking the company from a turnover of Rs. 400.6 crores (US$89 mn) in 1994 to Rs. 11, 542 crores (US$2.6 bn). The company today has emerged as the country's information-enabling powerhouse and was also awarded 'Business Superbrands' by The Brand Council and rated the Most Trusted Indian IT Brand by Economic Times in 2010–11.
Ajai Chowdhry was nominated by the Hon’ble President of India to be the Chairman for IIT Hyderabad and then the Chairman of IIT-Patna.
Ajai Chowdhry is the Chairman of the Electronics Sector Skills Council.
Ajai Chowdhry is the Chairman of the National Institute of Foundry & Forge Technology.
Ajai Chowdhry is also currently the Co-Chairman of the Working Group for Development of Innovation and IP in the ESDM sector.
Ajai Chowdhry is focusing on incubating entrepreneurship by aiding start-ups. He is also on the Board of Indian Angel Network. He is also on the Investment Committee of the IAN Fund and the EDF Fund. He mentors many start-ups.
Ajai Chowdhry set up a Charitable Trust called 'Swayam' which is committed to provide education support to deserving children who cannot afford good education. Also he has worked on providing solar power to many villages around, Jabalpur.
Ajai Chowdhry has constantly been driving a vision of "IT for the masses" and has been on several government committees working towards taking PC and broadband into every village in India.
Ajai Chowdhry works closely with the Government of India, for various endeavours and initiatives. Ajai Chowdhry has been part of several Government of India committees. These endeavours aim at increasing IT proliferation in India, and also towards facilitating the growth of the IT and Electronics industry in India. In August 2009, the Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications & IT and the Government of India constituted the IT Task Force, under the leadership of Ajai Chowdhry.
Ajai Chowdhry was a member of National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC), which is an apex body providing advisory inputs for shaping government policy.
Ajai Chowdhry was the Chairman of CII National Committee on Technology.
Ajai Chowdhry was a panelist on the USC Forum on Globalization and Innovation.
Awards and accolades
- In 2011, Government of India awarded Ajai Chowdhry with Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award, recognising his consistent contribution to the Indian IT industry.
- In 2014, Ajai Chowdhry was honoured with the Cybermedia Business ICT Award 2013 for Lifetime Achievement in ICT by Shri Narendra Modi.
- In 2014, Ajai Chowdhry was awarded Honoris Causa (D. Sc.) by the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design & Manufacturing, Jabalpur in recognition of the significant contribution he has made to the Indian IT industry and thought leadership in the field.
- In 2010, Ajai Chowdhry was conferred the Honoris Causa, Doctorate of Science, by IIT Roorkee.
- In 2010, Ajai Chowdhry was presented the "ELCINA-EFY Electronics Man of the Year Award", by the Electronic Industries Association of India (ELCINA).
- In 2009, Ajai Chowdhry was ranked third in the "Power List of 75 Most Powerful Brand Builders of India".
- In 2009, Ajai Chowdhry was adjudged among "India Inc’s Most Powerful CEOs" by The Economic Times.
- In 2007, Ajai Chowdhry was named the "Dataquest IT Person of the Year 2007", for his focus on the Indian domestic market, and his belief in the potential of computer hardware manufacturing in India.
- In 2006, EFY presented the "Electronics Man of the Year - 2006" to Ajai Chowdhry, for being instrumental in driving the growth of HCL Infosystems.
- Wisitek Foundation presented Ajai Chowdhry with the "Corporate Ratna – IT Industry of the Millennium" Award.
- In 2004, Skoch Consultancy awarded Ajai Chowdhry with the 'IT Man of the Year' title.
- The Foundation of Indian Industry and Economists has presented Ajai Chowdhry the "Best IT Man of the Year" award.
- "AI is not just for engineers, managers need it too: IIIT-Naya Raipur chairperson Ajai Chowdhary". The Indian Express. 11 August 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
- Task Force, Department of Information Technology (6 January 2010). "Report of Task Force to suggest measures to simulate the growth of IT, ITES, and Electronics Hardware manufacturing industry in India" (PDF). Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 May 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
- NMCC. "Ajai Chowdhry". Archived from the original on 17 May 2012.
- CII (May 2009). "CII Communiqué" (PDF). Confederation of Indian Industry.
- USC (26 February 2011). "Panelists, USC Forum on Globalization and Innovation". University of Southern California. Archived from the original on 26 May 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- World Economic Forum (5 May 2010). "Africa 2010 - Ajai Chowdhry". World Economic Forum. Archived from the original on 30 September 2012.
- CXOtoday (5 April 2011). "Ajai Chowdhry awarded Padma Bhushan". Archived from the original on 16 May 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "IIT Roorkee's Honorary Doctorate for Ajai Chowdhry". Business Standard. 15 November 2010.
- EFYTimes News (24 September 2010). "35th ELCINA-EFY Awards Announced". Archived from the original on 22 January 2013.
- Communications Today (10 March 2009). "Ajai Chowdhry". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
- "Director Report". The Economic Times. June 2009.
- CIOL (12 December 2007). "Ajai Chowdhry is Dataquest IT Person of the Year 2007". Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- EFYTimes News (3 February 2006). "Ajai Chowdhry, EFY `Electronics Man Of The Year' 2006". Archived from the original on 22 January 2013.
- Business & Economy. "The Colonial Maestro".
- "Skoch Challenger Awards 2004". Skoch. 19 February 2004.
- Reuters. "Ajai Chowdhry: Brief Biography". Reuters.