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Ajai Chowdhry
Founder HCL
Chairman & CEO HCL Infosystems

An engineer by training, Ajai Chowdhry is one of the six founder members of HCL, India’s premier IT enterprise. HCL, a start-up in 1976, touched Rs. 16,789 crores for the last 12 months.

Ajai Chowdhry took over the reins of HCL Infosystems, the flagship company of the group, as President and CEO in 1994. He was appointed the Chairman of HCL Infosystems in November 1999. Under his stewardship, the company’s turnover has grown to Rs. 11,994 crores for the last 12 months from Rs. 400.6 crores in 1994. With employee strength of over 4500, it has emerged as country’s information-enabling powerhouse.

Ajai has been a key force in driving the growth of HCL Infosystems. The credit of setting up HCL's overseas operations, starting with Singapore in 1980, goes to him. During this tenure he extensively covered South Asian Markets including Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and the People's Republic of China, expanding business operations, which paved the way towards enhancing HCL's core competencies in bringing the best international technologies to domestic market.

Driving the thrust on IT, Telecom and Imaging, Ajai perceives the role of his company as that of enabling information. Credited with providing momentum to key IT phenomena - within the company as well as in the industry - he has constantly added newer and cutting edge technology skills to the company's portfolio. Under his leadership, several new projects have been undertaken in the company that have had a lasting impact - getting into IT retailing, spearheading the company wide Quality movement, and the very recent low cost PC initiative and IT for masses are some examples. An absolute stickler for customer focus, he himself spends significant time, personally listening to customers.

Ajai sensed an emerging opportunity early in telecom and imaging category and today HCL Infosystems is poised to exploit this opportunity to offer a richer bouquet to its customers.

It is a recognition of his visionary status that Ajai was part of the IT Hardware Task Force, set up by the Prime Minister of India to give shape to the country's IT strategy. Ajai has repeatedly championed the cause of improving PC penetration in the country. He has worked closely with many Government bodies to take IT for masses agenda forward. Presently he is a part of several government committees to take forward the course of IT and Hardware in India. He was awarded with 'IT Man of the Year' by The Skoch Consultancy and 'Best IT Man of the Year' by The Foundation of Indian Industry and Economists. Recently, he has been awarded with ‘Corporate Ratna –IT Industry of the Millennium’ Award by Wisitek Foundation and ‘Electronics Man of the Year - 2006’ Award by EFY for his pivotal role in HCL’s breakthrough innovations.

Ajai has a bachelor's degree in electronics and communication engineering, and attended the Executive Program at the School of Business Administration at the University of Michigan, US.

Ajai is an avid reader and is fond of Jazz and the fine arts. He and his wife Kunkun live in New Delhi.