Ajai Chowdhry, Founder, HCL & Chairman, HCL Infosystems, was awarded the Padma Bhushan, by the President of India, Pratibha Devisingh Patil. Ajai Chowdhry is one of the six founder-members of HCL, India's original IT garage start-up founded in 1976, is today a global enterprise of over INR 24,000 crore with a global headcount of 79,000 people. Ajai took over the reins of HCL Infosystems, the flagship company of the group, as President and CEO in 1994. He was appointed Chairman of HCL Infosystems in November 1999. Under Ajai's stewardship, the company's turnover has grown to Rs.12,221 crore from Rs.400.6 crore in 1994. Employing over 7,200 people, it has emerged as the country's information-enabling powerhouse. Ajai Chowdhry reacted, “When I got together with my friends 34 years back to start HCL, all we had was a barsati, some money and tons of passion. What we needed were people who will believe in this dream and join hands to take India on the world stage. We have come a long way and I would like to dedicate this recognition to my great country, my family of 79,000 colleagues, numerous friends, partners and well-wishers who have stood by me all these years.” HCL Infosystem Chairman Ajai Chowdhry led the list of this year's awardees named for the government's civilian “Padma Bhushan”award, among the representatives of trade and industry. In the list of 128 awardees for Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri announced by the Home Ministry, members of trade and industry were represented in equal measure, accounting for some dozen honours. The recognition comes after the recent Honoris Causa Doctorate of Science (D.Sc.) by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee he received for his remarkable contribution to the Indian IT industry. He was nominated by the President of India to be the Chairman of the Board of Governors, IIT, Hyderabad in 2009. He has worked closely with the Government to take up the cause of “IT for the masses” forward and has been on several Government committees on IT, Electronics and Hardware. Under his leadership in 2009, “The IT Task Force” set up by the Ministry of IT & Communications, Government of India, submitted a comprehensive report to the Government. Chowdhry has also chaired the CII's National Committee for IT, ITeS and E-Commerce, where he actively encouraged the deployment of IT in the Indian SME sector (small & medium industry), to increase their productivity and to make them globally competitive.